Roger Watkins (1933-2020)

Roger Watkins, 87, passed away on Saturday, June 13, 2020 at his home in Sun City Center, Fla. surrounded by family.

He was born April 7, 1933 in Wauseon, graduating from Wauseon High School in 1951. He was the youngest of the five Watkins children who preceded him in graduation from Wauseon High School. In Wauseon he developed his love of sports.

Roger was a math teacher and school principal in the Vermilion, Ohio school system from 1957 until his retirement in 1988. In addition to teaching, he coached basketball and football at Vermilion High School and served as the Varsity Head Basketball Coach from 1960-1964, leading his teams to a combined record of 57-21 during that time.

He was a graduate of Hiram College where he also played football and basketball and received two master’s degrees from (Case) Western Reserve University. He also served two years in the U.S. Army at Fort Bliss in Texas before starting his career in education.

Roger loved spending time with his family and is survived by his wife of 58 years, Sue (nee Schaffner) Watkins, daughter, Jennifer Watkins Christensen of Wilmette, IL, sons, Jeff (Carrie) Watkins of Chamblee, GA and Jay (Amy) Watkins of Brunswick, OH; and four grandchildren, Katie Christensen, Caroline Christensen, Ben Watkins and Sam Watkins.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Orra and Florence (nee Bruner) Watkins, brothers, Don Watkins and Hal Watkins, and sisters, Rachel Loar Ellis and Joan Domeck.

Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, there will be no memorial service at this time. A celebration of life service will be held in Vermilion, Ohio at a later date.

The family suggests memorial contributions be made to Grace United Methodist Church, 13406 W. Lake Rd. Vermilion, OH 44089 or Sun City Center United Methodist Church, 1210 Del Webb Blvd W. Sun City Center, FL 33573.

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1 Comment on "Roger Watkins (1933-2020)"

  1. John Siebert | June 27, 2020 at 4:02 pm | Reply

    Our class met Roger when he started teaching in Vermilion in ’57. We were freshmen and benefited from his superb example throughout our high school years and beyond. As my algebra teacher he gave me a great start by stimulating my interest in math to the point that I majored in math in undergraduate school. The mental discipline that I developed through the study of math has helped me solve problems all my life. Roger was the catalyst–he was a superb teacher and human being. He told me a few weeks before his death that he felt so lucky to have started his teaching career in Vermilion. I and many others were lucky he did as well.

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