Dale E. Watkins, 91, of Etna Green, Ind., died at 11:45 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 30, 2012, at Miller’s Merry Manor in Warsaw.
He was born Jan. 31, 1921, in Marshall County, Ind., to Henry and Catherine (Miller) Watkins. He was a 1939 graduate of Bourbon High School. Dale was a WW II Army Veteran and served in the South Pacific from 1942-1945 with the 115h Combat Engineering Batillion, 40th Division. He was awarded the Purple Heart, the Asiatic Pacific Ribbon with 3 bronze stars, the Philippine Liberation Ribbon with 1 Bronze star and the Good Conduct Ribbon.
He retired in 1987 from Mutschler Brothers in Nappanee where he had worked for 38 years. He was the manager of the finishing dept. Dale also farmed. He attended the Nappanee Missionary Church. He was a former member of Hepton Union Church, where he taught Sunday School and was a superintendant for over 50 year.
Mr. Watkins was very family oriented. He loved and was always thinking of his wife, son, and grandchildren. He was an outdoorsman – he enjoyed farming, gardening, fishing (especially floating down the Tippy River in his John Boat), hunting, and trapping. He also enjoyed woodworking.
Dale was married to Mary E. Slabaugh Sept. 15, 1950, in Cleveland, Ohio. She survives, along with a son: Greg (Lisa) Watkins, Bourbon, Ind.; grandsons: Stephen (Rachel) Watkins and Bryan (Katie) Watkins, both of Syracuse, N.Y.; a great-grandson: Liam Watkins, McKenna, Wisc.; sisters: June Ganshorn, Etna Green, Ind.; Cleo Brown, Delores (Willard) Klotz, Phyllis (Robert) Blosser, all of Nappanee, Ind.; a brother, Ernie (Eleanor) Watkins, Bourbon; and a sister-in-law: Eleanor Watkins, Bourbon.
He was preceded in death by sisters: Hilda Strang, Jessie Danner, Gladys Border, Glee McDonald; and brothers: Max, Harvey, Robert and Ted Watkins.
Family and friends may call from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday at the Nappanee Missionary Church Chapel and for 1 hour prior to the 10:30 a.m. funeral service on Friday, Oct. 5, at the Nappanee Missionary Church. Pastor Marvin Engbrecht and Pastor Norm Reimer will officiate and burial will be in Hepton Union Cemetery with Military Graveside Rites by the Nappanee American Legion.
Memorial contributions may be given to Nappanee Missionary Church.
Arrangements are with Thompson-Lengacher & Yoder Funeral Home, Nappanee.