Leslie R. Watkins passed away Thursday, March 29th at Broad Acres Health and Rehabilitation Center, Wellsboro, Pa.
Born July 14, 1933, in Chatham Township, to the late Ellery and Addie (Skinner) Watkins, Leslie was the youngest of their six children and was predeceased by his sisters Viola Houghtaling and Winifred Brugger, and by his brothers Forrest and Vernard Watkins. He is survived by the lone remaining sibling, Clesta Raker of Liberty, PA.
Leslie graduated valedictorian of the seven members of the Little Marsh High School class of 1951. From there he earned his bachelor’s degree, from his beloved Penn State, in Agriculture. He later earned an education certificate from Millersburg University and a Master's degree from Alfred. Les was a teacher with brief tenures at Port Allegheny and Elmira, but most proudly served 36 years at Cowanesque Valley High School, Westfield, PA. He was at various times a teacher, guidance counselor, and athletic director.
On November 19, 1955, in a terrible snow storm, he married the love of his life, Janet Vandegrift, of Wellsboro, whom he had met on a blind date two years earlier. After a short stint in Port Allegheny, the newlyweds bought a little farm back in Chatham Township and remained there together for the next 60 plus years.
Along with Janet, Leslie is survived by his daughter and son-in-law, Cindy and Craig Evans of Little Marsh; his son and daughter-in-law, Brad and Joann Watkins, of Watsontown; six grandchildren: Christopher, Caleb(Nicole), Curtis, Corrine Evans, and John and Katherine Watkins; one great-grand-daughter, Quinn Evans; a sister-in-law, Jean Vandegrift, and several nephews and nieces of whom he was very fond.
Les was a lifetime member of PSEA and the Penn State Alumni Association. He was a charter member of the Chatham Volunteer Fire Company. He was a long time Boy Scout leader, earning the distinguished Silver Beaver award in 1979 for outstanding service. He served as trustee of the Little Marsh United Methodist Church, served over 50 years as a member of the Odd Fellows (I.O.O.F), served for years as the president of the CV Alumni Association, and was a longtime volunteer at the Tioga County Fair. He was also a lifetime champion of going to meetings, making a speech (if invited), and, of course, eating dinner.
The immediate family will have a private viewing and burial next week. On Sunday, July 8, a life celebration is planned in Little Marsh. The family will provide details as the date approaches.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be sent to one of the following organizations: The CV Alumni Association, c/o Donna Platz, 250 Race Street, Apt. 315, Westfield, PA, 16950; The Chatham Township Volunteer Fire Company, 1575 Blair Creek Road, Little Marsh PA, 16950; or The Tioga County Fair Association, c/o Lori Hamblin, 21 Gee Road, Middlebury Center, PA, 16935.
To share your memories and sign Leslie's guest book, visit http://www.tusseymosher.com
Local arrangements are entrusted to Tussey-Mosher Funeral Home, Ltd, 139 Main Street, Wellsboro, PA.
The CV Alumni Association
c/o Donna Platz, 250 Race Street, Apt. 315, Westfield PA 16950
The Chatham Township Volunteer Fire Company
1575 Blair Creek Road, Little Marsh PA 16950
The Tioga County Fair
c/o Lori Hamblin, P.O. Box 52, Middlebury Center PA 16935