Cleveland Watkins Jr.

February 24, 1943February 3, 2018
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Cleveland Watkins Jr.- born in Shelby, Mississippi on February 24, 1943, the fourth of ten children born to the union of Cleveland Sr. and Mary Ellen Watkins, both of whom preceded him in death. Two sisters, Lillie Reed and Carrie Hall, two brothers, Sylvester (Patricia) Watkins and Willie Gene Watkins, and one son, Alphonso Watkins also preceded him in death. Cleveland was the fourth of ten children and at a young age, he developed a foundation of ethics that would follow him the rest of his life. He learned responsibility and great family values during a time when he was the oldest son at home with a single mother and six younger brothers and sisters. He worked during high school to help his mother support his younger siblings and after graduating high school, he moved to Chicago for better opportunities.

Cleveland married his high school sweetheart Barbara in1963 and became the proud biological father of two sons and one grandson. After the death of his sister, he became a father to her children, and with both his sons marrying into extended families he became grandfather to four other children. He was also a father figure to other nieces and nephews making him the proud grandpa of 10 and great-grandpa of nine.

In 1974 Cleveland began a career with the City of Chicago Department of Water, where he worked as a laborer. Later he trained and became a licensed plumber with the City and later advanced to supervisor of water leak investigations. In August 2007 after having open heart surgery he was on sick leave for a year. He decided to retire from the City of Chicago on June 1, 2008.

He professed his faith in Christ at an early age and was baptized. In November of 2007, Cleveland and his wife Barbara moved their membership to New Bethlehem #4 M.B. Church under the leadership of Pastor Louis Montgomery, Sr.

Cleveland leaves to cherish his memory, a loving and devoted wife Barbara; one son, Cleveland Watkins, III; one grandson, Joshua Watkins; three sisters, Mary Watkins of Shelby, MS, Bobbie Humphrey of Renova, MS and Patricia Watkins of Horn Lake, MS; two brothers, Fred Watkins of Chicago, IL and Abedell (Tammy) Watkins of Ruleville, MS; 10 grand children; great grand children; special nieces, Alicia Miles and Daneen Johnson; special nephews, Dorval Reed and Arthur B. Reed; and a host of other nieces, nephews, relatives and friends.


  • Visitation Friday, February 9, 2018
  • Wake Saturday, February 10, 2018
  • Funeral Service Saturday, February 10, 2018

Cleveland Watkins Jr.

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March 4, 2018

The best neighbor ever. When me and my husband first moved across the street from him and became instant friends. He was always there with the best man tools around. Lol. One year me and my husband was on vacation and it was a major snow storm in Chicago and the snow had reached to the height of the door knob. Upon returning home Cleve had used his snowblower to clear a path to our front door so we could get into the house. He inspired us to get the cool snow blower as well. He had the best toys. (TOOLS) GOD BLESS YOU AND YOUR WIFE.

Johnny Battle

February 10, 2018

Mr. Watkins was a quiet and good man the good father and a good husband may you rest in peace.

Carrie Mcclendon

February 9, 2018

Barbara, Alvin and I was saddened to hear of Cleve's passing. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family at this difficult time. May God give you strength and comfort

Joan Brown

February 9, 2018

To Barbara and family, Our thoughts and prayers are with you and the family, may the God of love and peace be with you.
Joan Brown and family

Helena, Maria Kaczmarczyk

February 8, 2018

Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family, from Kaczmarczyk Helena Maria and family.

Karen Gaines

February 7, 2018

Mrs Watkins, I am so sad to hear of Mr. Watkins passing. He was a a great neighbor who watched over everyone in the neighborhood. I will never forget his kindness towards my mother. My condolences to you and your entire family.

February 6, 2018

May God's peace and comfort cover the Watkins' Family and everyone connected. To Arbedell Watkins and family from the staff of United Family Life Village.

Carnell & Lola Billups

February 5, 2018

To Barbara & Family: May the God of love and peace be with you. May you be comforted knowing that we grieve with you, Angels surround you, and God is always holding your hands.
In sympathy,

February 5, 2018

Such a gentle soul will surely rest in peace and forever be missed. Love always until we meet again - Your beloved daughter, Emelide.

Alonzo Battle

February 5, 2018

Mr.Watkins helped raise me, instilled some very good values that I carry in my personality today. He was a very good man. Love always.