Bernadine "Bernie" Watkins
December 23, 1930 – July 29, 2019
Bernie was born in 1930 to Benjamin and Bernice Menendez in St. Louis, Missouri. Raised in St. Louis with her sister Joan, she graduated from Laboure’ High School in St. Louis and married her high school sweetheart Don Watkins in January of 1951. Bernie and Don moved to Springfield, Missouri, Bettendorf, Iowa and then on to San Ramon, California following Don’s career with the Pitney Bowes Corporation. After the death of Don, she spent varying amounts of time with her children in California before returning to Springfield, Missouri to live with her son Danny.
In addition to raising her four children, Bernie ran a bookkeeping and tax preparation service for retail clients and later assisted her husband in running PBM Mailroom Supplies – a commercial mailing equipment supply company and Professional Business Machines – a mailing machine supply and repair company.
Bernie was extremely active in the Shrine becoming High Priestess of the Ladies of the Oriental Shrine Court #53 and also active in the Elks Club. She could be found most weekends assisting with an event put on by the Shrine or the Elks or traveling with Don throughout the west in their RV in club caravans. When not involved with fraternal organizations, she was involved in the lives of her four grandchildren. She could always be found playing cards at every family gathering – finally, in later years, letting the younger generation join in.
Bernie was preceded in death by her parents, her sister Joan Hurley, brother-in-law Bill Hurley and her loving husband Don of 54 years. She is survived by children Danny Watkins of Springfield, Missouri, daughter Laura McDaniel (Tom) of Danville, CA, son John (Joy) Watkins of Brentwood, CA, and daughter Elizabeth Cole of Washington and grandchildren Randy Avalos, Michael Watkins, Crystal Potter and Michael McDaniel and nieces Linda Flanagan, Cindy Watkins, and Bonnie Watkins.
Services will be held on Wednesday August 7 at Hoffmeister Mortuary in Saint Louis with internment to follow at Resurrection Cemetery in St. Louis. The family requests that any donations be made to the Shriners Hospital.