Robert "Bob" Watkins, age 94, of Graceville, MN, passed away on Thursday, April 27, 2023, at Sanford Wheaton Hospital in Wheaton, MN.
Funeral services will be held on Tuesday, May 2, 2023, at 10:30 a.m. at Trinity-Mt. Olive Evangelical Lutheran Church in rural Johnson, MN. Visitation will be held on Monday, May 1, 2023, from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at Mundwiler and Larson Funeral Home in Graceville, MN, with a prayer service beginning at 6:30 p.m. Visitation will continue one hour prior to the service at the church on Tuesday. Rev. Donald Main will officiate the service and interment will be in the church cemetery.
The service will be live streamed and recorded and will be viewable at the bottom of this page.
Robert James Watkins was born on April 4, 1929, on the family farm in Forest City Township of Meeker County, MN, to Samuel and Frances (Wimmer) Watkins. He attended country school in Forest City Township and graduated from Litchfield High School with the Class of 1947.
Following high school, Robert joined the United States Air Force and the United States National Guard. While enlisted in the United States Armed Forces, Robert served as a military policeman in Cocoa Beach, FL, and in the Bahamas during the Korean Conflict. Working as a police officer for a short time in Litchfield, MN, he was selected to attend the State Patrol Academy. Robert worked as a Minnesota State Trooper for 31 years. Following retirement, Robert worked part-time for the area police departments.
In 1955, Minnesota State Patrol stationed Robert in Graceville, MN. He met the love of his life, Gladys Wilke, who was a waitress at a local café. They were united in marriage on July, 24, 1956, and together, they were blessed with four children. Robert and Gladys made their home in Graceville and continued to live there their entire adult lives.
Robert enjoyed woodworking and playing cards. Robert was a member of Trinity-Mt. Olive Lutheran Church and the Graceville American Legion. Robert stayed active with golfing and lived for the daily time he spent with his buddies at the Graceville Senior Center. He most enjoyed the time he spent being a grandpa and great-grandpa.
Left to cherish Robert’s memory are his children: Jim (Monica) Watkins of Alexandria, MN; Brenda (Dean) Pommier of Currie, MN; Sandra (Kevin) O’Leary of Wheaton, MN; and Bob (Sara) Watkins of Fergus Falls, MN; 10 grandchildren: Dan (Amanda) Watkins, Brian (Megan) Watkins, Jeremy (Tina) Pommier, Neil Pommier, Nicole (Darnell) Jones, Anna Pommier (Brooke Hermsen), Casey (Andrea) O’Leary, Molly (Craig) Tangen, Mitchell Watkins (Mary Gettel), and Taylor Watkins (Brian Dunn); 14 great-grandchildren; sister-in-law, LaNette Bremseth; along with three nieces and their families.
Preceding him in death are his parents, Samuel and Frances Watkins; wife, Gladys in 2010; sister, JoAnne (Cletus) Schloesser; brother, Vernon “Bud” Watkins; parents-in-law, Bill and Vera Wilke; and brother-in-law, Wilmer Wilke.