William Henry Watkins, 69 years young, died May 7th 2017 at home in Olympia, Washington with his courageous wife Sun Hui Watkins by his side. He was the beloved son of Durrell Elton Watkins & Margaret Loraine Delaney, caring brother to Laurie Margaret Entenman, and a champion father to Cathleen Michelle Watkins & William Elton Watkins.
Memorial services will be held on Monday May 15th 2017 at 10:30am. The ceremony will take place at the Tahoma National Cemetery located in Kent, WA.
Bill was born on March 21st, 1948 in New York, New York but spent most of his childhood growing up in Portland, Oregon. During his early years, Bill had a talent and tenacity for sports and chess that only continued to define him throughout the years. He was known for his natural ability to balance humor and solemnity with all those around him. All those that knew Bill could tell you he was never shy, not afraid to engage others with good cause, spoke his mind only after biting his tongue and just plain good right down to the core.
Bill enlisted in the United States Marine Corps at the ripe ole age of 17 back on April 20th, 1965. He served three tours in Vietnam from 1965 – 1973, wounded in combat on his 2nd tour Bill still felt the need to unselfishly save lives and serve his country time and time again. He later enlisted in the United States Army on January 21st, 1974 and served in various operations all around the world whenever called upon, until he finally retired from military service July 31st, 1989.
Bill’s devotion & dedication to make this world a better place didn’t slow down one bit in the civilian world. His sense of duty to Honor, Courage and Commitment shined hard and bright as he used that time to work in law enforcement and volunteered as a fire fighter to protect his family and friends but, also to better his community and State for over the next 17 years.
During this time Bill was also heavily involved with many veterans’ organizations. The DVA, VFW, DAV, VLC and Marine Corps League just to name a few, along with many others. He continued to meet the challenges that faced veterans and their families head on every day. Bill lobbied constantly and tirelessly to make sure men and women that serve this country had the best opportunities once they returned to be successful.
Bill was a very proud man. He had a lot of things in this world to be proud about. Mostly though, we are all so very proud of him and all the goodness he brought into this world. Our memories of him will continue to lift us up for years to come. He still isn’t finished making us smile, feel passion for the just or love. Like Bill’s favorite Chesty Puller saying, Semper Fidelis and good night, William Henry wherever you are. (Guarding the Pearly Gates)
Donations may be sent to the VFW or Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Lacey.