Nathan Graydon Watkins
Published 1:12 pm Tuesday, March 14, 2017
Nathan Graydon Watkins, 88, of Livingston passed away at home on March 12, 2017. A Celebration of Life will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, March 18, at York Baptist Church with Bumpers Funeral Home directing and Rev. Leon Ballard officiating. Visitation will be at the church one hour prior to the services.
He was preceded in death by his father, Nathan F. Watkins; mother, Volee Kimbrough Watkins; and two brothers, John C. Watkins and Mack B. Watkins.
Survivors include his wife of 65 years, Ruth C. Watkins; son, Nathan G. Watkins Jr. (Cindy) of Livingston; daughters, Grace W. Gibson (Jimmy) of Livingston, Pat R. Watkins (Werner Frittzsching) of Brooklyn, New York, and Sandra W. Engel (Brett) of Albuquerque, New Mexico; grandchildren, Jess W. Wood (Jonathan), Bethenie E. Taylor, Graydon M. Fritzsching, J. Parker Engel, Ryan R. Engel, Ross E. Engel, and Jace Dearman; great-grandchildren, Leighton G. Taylor, Jack E. Taylor, Brinkli R. Wood, and Preston G. Wood; sister, Jane Watkins of Tuscaloosa; and sister-in-law, Blanche M. Watkins of Natchitoches, Louisiana. He cherished his family first and foremost, but spent a lifetime in service to his country, his circuit, and his community.
Nathan was born in Pineapple, in Wilcox County, and grew up in York. He served in the U.S. Army and was a veteran of the Korean War, serving as an officer in the field artillery and receiving the Bronze Star, among other awards and commendations. He retired as a Lt. Colonel from the United States Army Reserve. He attended the University of Alabama where he graduated from the University of Alabama School of Law in 1956. He practiced law in Livingston and York and served as a deputy District Attorney until being appointed District Attorney for the 17th Judicial Circuit (Sumter, Greene and Marengo Counties) in 1973. He served a total of 25 years in that position and was elected President of the Alabama District Attorneys Association. He served on the Board of Directors of the Bank of York (1972-2017) and the Board of Directors of West Alabama Mental Health (1993-2017).
Nathan was known for his sharp wit and sense of humor. He will be remembered as an expert storyteller and a true lover of life. He fully embraced every stage of it, from beginning to end, with grace and nobility. He taught us all a lot about life and, over the past few years, a lot about how to leave it. He will be missed by so many people, especially his Tuesday night poker buddies. They listened to his jokes and lost their money to him to the very end. Special thanks to his angels who cared for him and Miss Ruth just like they were family: Jo Willie Washington, Helen Evans, Ethel Turner, Ola Houston, Shirley Amerson, Julean Amerson, and all the wonderful people at Legacy Hospice, especially Lisa McGrew, Evelyn Goodwin, Debra Walker, Shundreka Croom, Bro. Michael Elliot and Payton Hannah, who was with him and his family at the end.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, 262 Danny Thomas Place, Memphis, TN 38105 (www. stjude.org) or York Baptist Church, Post Office Box 548, York, AL 36925.