Emma “Mae” Watkins, age 76, of Burlington and formerly of Homer died Thursday, March 5, 2020 at Medilodge of Marshall.
Mrs. Watkins was born on February 6, 1944 in Floyd County, Kentucky to Joseph and Mary Jane (Reffit) Shepherd. She had lived the majority of her life in the Homer area. While in her 40’s, Mae returned to Homer High School. In 1985, to the delight of her proud family she received her GED. While living in Homer, she and her husband, James, owned and operated the Watkins Adult Foster Care. Mae loved caring for the people that lived at their home.
On June 26, 1975, she married James Watkins in Concord, Michigan.
Mae loved the Lord and was a member of the Riverside Baptist Church of Homer. She was a faithful prayer warrior, praying for each one of her family members. Mae and James enjoyed music and traveled to many churches, care facilities and nursing homes to play and sing gospel music. They recorded several CD’s of their music.
Crafting was another of Mae’s favorite things. She was a talented quilter and made many beautiful quilts and pillows. James and Mae would travel throughout Michigan and Indiana attending Flea Markets and Craft Shows to show and sell their wares.
She is remembered by her family as a loving wife, mother, grandmother and great grandmother. She loved preparing large family country breakfast where there was always more food then everyone could eat. Everyone that met her always commented that Mae was the sweetest person that they knew.
She is survived by her husband, James; children, Angela Gebbink of Burlington, Bonnie Friday of Concord, James (Regina) Ratliff of Homer, Sandra Keyes Hall of Homer; Irene Hinkle of Osceola, Missouri, Debra Shaffer of Homer, Jerry (Katodra) Watkins of Sheldon, Iowa and Perry (Twila) Watkins of St. Joseph, Missouri; 21 grandchildren and numerous great grandchildren. She is also survived by siblings, Coleen (James) March, Sonia Faye Woodman, Freddie (Mariette) Shepherd, Teresa (Earl) Vest and Earl (Cathy) Shepherd.
She was preceded in death by a grandchild, Cassandra Hall; and sibling, Vicki Sneed, Estill Shepherd, Ezra Shepherd, Isola (Sis) Prater and infant sister, Bonnie Shepherd.
The family will receive friends on Tuesday, March 10, 2020 from 11 AM to 1:30 PM at the Riverside Baptist Church, 25255 E. M 60, Homer, Michigan 49245. A funeral service to celebrate the gift of her life will be held at 1:30 PM at the church with Pastor Jimmy Collins officiating. Interment will follow at Fairview Cemetery, Homer.
Friends who wish may make memorial contributions to Riverside Baptist Church or Southern Care Hospice. Assistance with memorials is available at the Kempf Family Funeral and Cremation Services 303 S Hillsdale St, Homer MI 49245.
To leave a personal message and sign the online guest book, please visit https://www.kempffuneralhome.com
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