Sara Josephine (“Jo”) Watkins

Sara Josephine (“Jo”) Watkins, age 98 of Lake, passed away peacefully on Thursday, Oct. 17, 2019 at her home on Crooked Lake with her family close by. Jo was born on February, 19, 1921, the daughter of Clarence and Pearl (Paxton) Sutton in St. Clairsville, Ohio. She was united in marriage to Edmond (“Ed”) Watkins on February 7, 1942 in Waterford, Mich. and they were happily married for nearly 60 years.

One of Jo’s favorite scripture verses was “a cheerful heart doeth good like a medicine” (Proverbs 17:22) and that was how she lived her life. Jo was a strong woman as exemplified through her work at a mental health facility as a young woman, as “Rosie the Riveter” during WWII, and later in life as a two-time survivor of breast cancer. An avid sports fan, she was often heard passionately cheering on her favorite teams. She greatly enjoyed singing, and playing the piano and family games. Many a family night was spent seated around the kitchen table playing Rook with Jo humming a little tune as she calmly and skillfully “set” her husband to win the game.  

Most importantly, Jo spent her life serving God in the church communities she helped guide and serve as the wife of a Presbyterian minister, as well as through the love she showed her four sons, four grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren. After retirement, Jo and Ed moved from Tecumseh, Mich. to their cottage on Crooked Lake, where Jo resided for 34 years.

Jo is predeceased by her husband, Edmond; her parents, Clarence and Pearl Sutton; her two sisters, Edith Hale and Inez Sutton; and her three brothers, Paul, George, and James Sutton.

Jo is survived by her four sons, Laurence Watkins of Wichita, Kan.; John Watkins of Providence, R.I.; and Donald Watkins and Stephen Watkins, both of Lake.  Other survivors include her four grandchildren and their spouses: Alisa (Tony Burch), Andrew Watkins, Tara (Andy Wong), and Lara (Matthew Cordeiro), as well as her six great-grandchildren, Sara (Bronwen), Ethan, Tobias, Isadore, Aidan, Gabriel, and one more arriving in December.

Funeral services in honor of Jo took place on Friday, Oct. 25, 2019 at 1 p.m. at the Farwell Chapel of the Stephenson-Wyman Funeral Home with burial following at the Garfield Township Cemetery. Memorial contributions in honor of Jo may be made to Grace Hospice or to the National Breast Cancer Foundation. For those unable to attend services, online condolences may be shared at


Tecumseh Herald


110 E. Logan St.
P.O. Box 218
Tecumseh, MI 49286

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