In memoriam of Rex A. Watkins, Sr., 03/14/1928 - 07/20/2018

Duffield & Pastrick Family Funeral Home

In memoriam of Rex A. Watkins, Sr., 03/14/1928 - 07/20/2018

View the online memorial here.

Rex Alwayne Watkins, Sr., 90, of Coloma went home to be with the Lord Friday, July 20, 2018.

Services with Military Honors will be held 11 am Monday, July 30 at Midway Baptist Church in Watervliet.

Visitation will be Sunday from 3 to 5 pm at Duffield & Pastrick Family Funeral Home in Coloma and again one hour prior to the service Monday at the church.

Private entombment next to his wife will take place later at North Shore Memory Gardens.

Donations in memory of Rex may be made to Caring Circle Hospice. Those wishing to leave an online message of remembrance may do so by using the "Guestbook" link located on this page.

Rex was born March 14, 1928, in Lexington, Tennessee. He was the son of Ray Alva and Ollie Lena (Scates) Watkins. He had four sisters and four brothers. The family worked seasonally in Michigan, moving here during his teen years. He grew up doing hard manual work on farms.

Rex left school in the ninth grade to help support his family. He served honorably in the United States Army Air Corps. He held numerous jobs, including Bell Telephone in Chicago. He also worked at the Watervliet Paper Mill, and New Products in Benton Harbor.

Rex married his wife of 67 years, Sophia Regina Lewandowski, on August 5, 1950. They were blessed with two sons and two daughters. In 1955, Rex and Sophia founded Rex Auto Parts in Benton Harbor and remained involved until they sold the business and retired in 1994. His business was founded on honesty, fairness, and customer service.

Rex most recently attended First General Baptist Church in Coloma. He was interested in many things, including music, auto racing, hunting, and fishing. He also enjoyed feeding and watching wild birds. His highest priorities, however, were his Christian faith and his family. Rex was a homebody, liking nothing more than to be home playing music, watching sports on television and visiting with family.

Rex is preceded in death by his wife, Sophia; parents, Ray and Ollie; his baby son, Mark Andrew; three sisters, Jewel Fay Watkins, Rue Mel Watkins Frederick, and Martha Jo Watkins Hennessee; and three brothers, Ray Vaughn Watkins, Jerry Paul Watkins, and John Randall Watkins.

He is survived by his daughter Susan (Don) Stewart; son, Rex (Debbie) Watkins, Jr.; daughter, Bonnie (Jeff) Joseph; grandchildren, Katrina (Jarrod) Hankins, and Grant and Hudson Joseph; great-grandchildren, Madison, Ethan and Olivia Hankins; his brother, James Carland Watkins, his sister, Carol Jane Watkins Baker, and his brother-in-law, Marvin (Pearl) Lewandowski. He is also survived by many nieces and nephews.

He was dedicated to his family, who stayed by his side until he was called home by the Lord.

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