Obituary: Ruth Watkins, 94, of Pentwater.

August 8, 2022

Ruth Watkins

Obituary: Ruth Watkins, 94, of Pentwater.

Ruth Hanna Watkins, 94, passed away August 1, 2022, at her home in Pentwater. She was born October 15, 1927, in Oblong, Illinois, to Ovid Price and Della (Immel) Turnipseed.

Ruth was raised on a family farm outside of Oblong, attending a one-room schoolhouse through eighth grade and graduating from Oblong High School. Immediately after graduation, she went to Lockyear Business College in Evansville, Indiana, completing a two-year business administration program. Hired by Deister, Ward & Witcher Title Services, she began her career traveling the region, researching and writing oil and gas leases. Her stories of traveling with this crew, setting up in various county courthouses, and dancing at the VFWs, are family legends and led her to Hart, where she met Harry Watkins. They married on November 19, 1949, at the Hart Congregational Church and shared 27 years together, raising their daughters Mary and April before he passed away in 1975.

Many will remember Ruth as the middle school secretary at Hart Public Schools, a post she held for many years prior to her retirement. She was also very active in the church and community, teaching Sunday school, leading Girl Scouts, serving in the American Legion Auxiliary, and leading and performing with the Oceana Players. Her community involvement was noted by the City of Hart with a Service Recognition Award.

Ruth’s sense of adventure continued; post-retirement, she took many trips within the U.S. and to Iceland. She also loved her home, garden, family, and dogs. There was always a hot cup of coffee or a cold beer, a seat at the table, and a good story or a listening ear when you stopped by. Most of all, Ruth was an independent spirit with a strong will and a soft heart, whose character will be remembered and missed by her family and everyone who knew her.

Ruth is survived by: her daughter, April Watkins (Clyde Sheets), of Traverse City; grandchildren, Graham Sanford, Harry Sanford, Jackson Sheets, and Della Sheets; son-in-law, John Sanford; and many nieces and nephews.

Ruth was preceded in death by her husband, Harry Watkins in 1975, and her daughter, Mary Sanford in 2012.

Funeral services will be conducted at 11 a.m., Tuesday, August 9, 2022 at the Hart Congregational United Church of Christ, 408 South State Street, Hart. Visitation will be held from 5 to 7 p.m., Monday, August 8, 2022, at Beacon Cremation & Funeral Service, King-Hart Chapel, 2370 North 72nd Avenue, Hart. The family welcomes everyone to a luncheon at the church following the interment at Hart Cemetery.

Beacon Cremation & Funeral Service, King-Hart Chapel, is in charge of arrangements.

Area Churches

Eats & Drinks

Eats & Drinks