Larry E WatkinsMay 20, 1946 ~ August 5, 2017 (age 71)
Larry E. Watkins age 71, resident of Shelby, died Saturday, August 5, 2017 in his home.
Born May 20, 1946 at his home in Apollo, Pennsylvania, to Thomas and Dorothy (George) Watkins, he had been a Shelby resident since 1990.
A 1964 graduate of the Kiski Area High School, Larry had worked as a pattern maker for the automotive industry for many years. He had also worked as a Union Representative for IAM before retiring in 2002.
Larry enjoyed daily pool exercise, as well as taking classes in qi gong, at the Shelby “Y”. He also enjoyed spending time at his family's hunting camp in Elk County, PA. Larry excelled at anticipating the needs of family and friends, with skill and a clever wit. For 27 years, he was known to countless children - and many adults, as the 'real' Santa. Quoting Robert Louis Stevenson, “He has achieved success who has lived well, laughed often and loved much; who has gained the respect of intelligent men and the love of little children; who has filled his niche and accomplished his task; who has left the world better than he found it; who has looked for the best in others and given the best he had; whose life was an inspiration; whose memory a benediction.”
He is survived by his wife of 20 years, Barbara (Groff) Watkins; 3 step-children: Nathan (Lara Noel) Sponseller of Colorado, Daniel Sponseller of Columbus; Laura DeLeon of Columbus; son John Watkins of Maryland; two granddaughters Micah Cooper-Sponseller and Jillian Sponseller; five siblings Pam (Joe) Galo of Avonmore, PA, Tom (Elizabeth) Watkins of Shelby, David (Kristin) Watkins of New Kensington, PA, Amy (Ken) Flasik of Adamsburg, PA, Beth Watkins of Apollo, PA, sister-in-law Cheri Watkins of Avonmore, PA; and many nieces, nephews and other relatives.
In addition to his parents he was preceded in death by his brother Gerald Watkins and infant granddaughter Melissa.
Friends may call at the Barkdull Funeral Home & Crematory in Shelby from 3:00 to 6:00 PM Wednesday, August 9, 2017. Funeral services will be held at a later date in Pennsylvania.
In place of flowers, the family kindly requests that contributions be made in the form of donation to the Shelby YMCA at 111 W Smiley Ave, Shelby, OH 44875 or the Presbyterian Disaster Assistance Redstone Mission Team at 24 N Gamble St, Shelby, OH 44875.