Billy Lee Watkins, age 82, of Jones Creek, Texas, went to be with his Lord and Savior, on May 22, 2019, while surrounded by his family.

Billy was born to Ross Franklin and Edna Oral Hill Watkins, on May 15, 1937, in Perryton, Texas, where he was delivered at birth in the back of a filling station/grocery store, with a Native American midwife assisting the delivery.

As an only child, Billy worked on the family farm, always helping his parents. At age 7, Billy and the Watkins family moved to a farm in Louisburg, Missouri.

During his teenage years, Billy was saved and baptized at First Christian Church in Buffalo, Missouri. He attended Buffalo, Missouri, High School and graduated on May 11, 1956. When Billy was a sophomore, he joined the United States Marine Corps Reserves on December 4, 1953. He married his high school sweetheart, Mary June Lutz, on May 13, 1956.

Upon graduating from high school, Billy left for basic training, on his bride’s birthday, May 24, 1956. After serving his country for six and a half years in the USMC, Billy became a meat cutter. He continued in that line of work for 43 years, until his retirement.

When Billy and Mary celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary, just three years ago, they renewed their vows before family and friends.

Billy was preceded in death by his parents; father-in-law, John Lutz; and mother-in-law, Mildred Colley Lutz.

Billy is survived by his Bride of 63 years; his four children, David Lee Watkins of Clute, Michael Allen Watkins (Sherry) of Nevada, Elizabeth Kay Watkins (Jan) of Wimberly, Ross William Watkins (Joyce) of Jones Creek; sister-in-law, Joyce Wuanita Stevens of Illinois; nieces, Elaine Redmon (Karl) of Missouri, Linda Kay Myers (Rich) of Kentucky, and Joyce Hagerty of Missouri. Additionally, seven nieces and three nephews from Long Island, New York.

He has eight grandchildren, Ben, Christopher, Joshua, Abbi, Anna, Amberlyn, Blake, and Brandi; and 16 great-grandchildren.

Pallbearers are Blake Sullivan, Blain Sollock, Ricardo Franco, Jarrod Wines, Ned Baron, Tracy Allen.

Honorary Pallbearers are Bill Rouse, Joe Huckaby, Don Douglas, Ken McGehee, Johnny Baggett, Buster Primm, Robin Carlton, Hollis Flowers, Paul Handy.

Special thanks to Heart to Heart Hospice and Home Health, and the nurses who took great care of him during this time, Melly Torres, Tina Jackson, Ashley Matthews.

A visitation will be held Friday, May 24 at Restwood Funeral Home from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Funeral services will be at 10:00 a.m., Saturday, May 25 at Unity Missionary Baptist Church, 198 Cedar St., Richwood, Texas.

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