Larry J. Watkins, 70, of Connersville, died Friday, January 25, 2013, surrounded by family and friends at Dr. P. Phillips Hospital in Orlando, Florida .He was in Orlando to attend the PGA Show and play golf with his close friends. His death was due to complications from bladder cancer that he had been fighting since February of 2012.
Larry was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, July 30, 1942, to Donald E. and Mary P. Root Watkins, both of whom preceded him in death. In 1961, he graduated from Amelia High School in Batavia, Ohio. Larry attended Ohio State University and joined Cincinnati Milacron Corporation, where he became a field service engineer. During his 38 years with Milacron, his work took him all over North America and to several European countries. At the same time, Larry was in the Ohio National Guard, where he attained the rank of First Lieutenant.
In 1983, Larry moved to Connersville, where he became a member of Connersville Country Club, and later, its successor, Willowbrook Country Club. He was an avid golfer, and a very active member of both clubs. He worked in the pro shop at Willowbrook for several years and started his own golf club repair and custom club building business which was named "The King of Clubs". Larry became a certified master club builder in 2009.
Larry is survived by his wife: Barbara J. Bodwell-Watkins; his children and their spouses: Clarissa A. Klug and Thomas of Mason, OH; Suzanne L. Hollman and Michael of Dallas, TX; Brian J. Watkins and Dr. Dawn Osterholt of Charlottesville, VA; his step children: C.J. Bodwell and his wife, Jackie of Connersville; Kerry Bodwell of Indianapolis; his sister: Connie Lutes and her husband, John of Cincinnati, OH; his brothers: Donald E. Watkins and his wife, Margaret of Cincinnati, OH; Mark J. Watkins of Batavia, OH; 17 grandchildren; several nieces and nephews; and his former wife: Judith A Widdows Pickett.
Funeral service will be conducted at 11 a.m. Saturday at Showalter Blackwell Long Funeral Home, Myers Chapel, Connersville, with Rev. Gene Spicer officiating. Friends may visit at the funeral home from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday where memorial contributions may be made to the Fayette County Foundation for the Larry J. Watkins Memorial Golf Fund to support local youth golf initiatives. Donations may be made online at www.FayetteFoundation.com.
Private graveside services will be conducted at the convenience of the family at Mt. Moriah Cemetery near Cincinnati, OH. For additional information and to send condolences or memories, go to www.ShowalterBlackwellLong.com.