Ann Catharine Watkins passed away in the early hours of June 16, 2020 in her nursing home, Bellevue, located in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. She was 74 years old. She is preceded in death by her husband, Ronald (Ron), and her parents, Robert (Bob) and Catharine Tefft. She is survived by her children and their families, Randall (Randy) Watkins; Robert Watkins and his wife, Maria, and son, Turner; Sandra (Sandi) Teel and her husband, Troy, and their children Kenneth, Kathleen and Kyle; and Brooke Hollenbeck and her husband Jack, and their children, Autumn, Bree, Michael, and Rachel. She is also survived by her two sisters; Roberta Haskit and Susan Roe.
Ann attended Carrier High School where she met her sweetheart and future husband, Ron. They were crowned Basketball Homecoming King and Queen during their time there and they graduated in 1964. Their senior trip included a train ride to the New York World’s Fair where she remembers being able to walk all the way up to the torch of the Statue of Liberty. She was also a second generation Oklahoma State University graduate, earning a Business Education degree.
Ann worked as a Kremlin-Hillsdale public school teacher for over 20 years working with high school students. She taught typing skills, business math, psychology, accounting, and yearbook/newsletter. She worked as a part time high school counselor the last few years of employment. So, if you know how to type with a QWERTY keyboard or a 10-key adding machine without looking at your fingers, you can thank Mrs. Watkins, affectionately called Mrs. Botkins to some, for using white-out on the letters and numbers. She also had a knack of scolding two kids at once--by looking in two different places in the classroom...at the same time. (Who is she looking at? You? Me? Did she see me do it?) Many students were unsure of her realistic-looking prosthetic eye.
She loved her role as Grandma Ann and took every advantage to spoil her grandchildren. Her home was transformed into multiple toy rooms. She commissioned a former student to make a custom set of shelves for toys and books. She and Papa Ron would make day trips to scour garage sales for good deals to regularly circulate the toys. When they were gifted a sign saying “Grandchildren welcome, parents by appointment”, they gleefully applied it to the sliding glass door to the sun room. When mom was diagnosed with a brain tumor, the love for her children and grandchildren led her and Ron to fight the tumor so that she would see her grandchildren grow.
After her husband, Ron, passed away, Ann moved into an assisted living center, Golden Oaks, in Enid, Oklahoma. When her health started to deteriorate to the point of her losing her balance more frequently and she was cautioned with being a fall risk, she and her children agreed to find an appropriate nursing home that would be located in Oklahoma City to be nearer to her children. The closer proximity helped make it possible for her children to accompany her to medical visits as needed and keep in closer touch.
Ann was able to attend some grandchildren’s births, watch them learn to crawl, watch Veggie Tales, eat “yucky candy” (ask Kathleen), lose a tooth, ride quad runners, take them to the movie theater, win awards, attend school plays, music concerts, and sports, watch some grandchildren graduate high school and college and enjoy seeing grandchildren grow into adulthood. We were able to spend 10-15 extra years with her because she chose to fight cancer. We are blessed to have the extended time to share our lives.
She will be laid to rest on Monday, June 22nd 2020, next to her husband at Square Cedar Cemetery located 7 miles west of Ringwood on Highway 412 then 3 1/2 miles north in a simple graveside service for family. A Memorial will be planned at a later date for Ann where friends and family can gather. Arrangements are by Lanman Funeral Home, Inc. of Helena. www.lanmanmemorials.com Facebook: Lanman Funeral Home Inc.
In lieu of flowers, please send a gift in the name of Ann Watkins to the Kremlin-Hillsdale Academic Enrichment Foundation. KHAEF, PO Box 1, Kremlin, OK 73753