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John Watkins

Service: 10 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 14, at First Baptist Church, Harrison, with interment at Western Grove Cemetery; Visitation: 5-8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 13, at Roller-Christeson Funeral Home.

John Watkins, 71, of Harrison, passed away peacefully at his home surrounded by his family on Friday, Oct. 9 (2020) after losing his battle to pancreatic cancer.  

John was born on Dec. 30, 1948, in Snowball. He was one of five children born to Omer and Dorothy Watkins. The family moved from Snowball to Bellefonte where he attended school before moving to Wichita, Kansas. They lived there for seven years before moving back to Harrison, where he graduated from high school in 1966.  

John attended college at the University of Central Arkansas for three years. In 1970, his birthdate was the third date drafted for the Vietnam War. John was stationed in Biloxi, Mississippi. He served in the Navy until he received a medical discharge and returned home. When he returned, he went to work at his family’s business. This is where his love for cars began. 

On June 25, 1971, John married the love of his life, Martha, at Calvary Baptist Church. John and Martha had three daughters, two sons-in-law, and seven grandchildren who were the most important things in his life.  

In 1972, John became a salesman at Modern Parts and then purchased the business in 1973. In May 2019, John retired after working 48 years. When he was not at Modern Parts, he was restoring old cars, working on the farm, or cruising to car shows with Martha. Together, they traveled all over the U.S attending car shows with their friends.  

John was a devoted member of Calvary Baptist Church and served as a trustee for several years. He has been a faithful servant to God and to his family.

He was preceded in death by his mother, Dorothy (Horn) Watkins; father, Omer Watkins; father-in-law, Kenneth Snow; sister, Virley Wilson and husband Oscar Wilson; brother, James Watkins; and brother-in-law, Clifford Gale.

John is survived by his wife; daughters, April Mattix, Amy Graham and her husband Duane Graham, and Amber Likes and her husband Brandon Likes; grandchildren, Isabella Gibbany, Tisha and Tyler Pendarvis, Taylor and Emma Graham, and Josalyn Likes and Ava Likes; sisters, Sharon Burns and Shirley Gale; mother-in-law, Wilma Snow; brother-in-law, Kenny Snow and his wife Kay Snow; sister-in-law, Sherrlene Watkins; and a host of nieces, nephews and cousins. 

Pallbearers will be Duane Graham, Taylor Graham, Brandon Likes, Lonnie Brockman, Terry Yeager, Ronald Delk, Kenny Snow and Tommy Pulliam.

Honorary pallbearers will be Tyler and Tisha Pendarvis, Isabella Gibbany, Zachary Wyles, Emma Graham, Josalyn Likes, Ava Likes, Steve Cantrell, Sam Scroggins, Louis Melton, Kenny Keeter, and Modern Parts Employees.

A visitation will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 13, at Roller-Christeson Funeral Home. Funeral service will be held at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 14, at First Baptist Church in Harrison. Interment services will follow at the Western Grove Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, please make donations to Calvary Baptist Church of Harrison.

Arrangements are by Roller-Christeson Funeral Home. Visit our online guestbook at rollerfuneralhomes.com/harrison .

Roller-Christeson Funeral Home is complying with the Arkansas Department of Health guidelines for COVID-19 and limiting indoor funeral and visitation attendance. All attendees must provide and wear their own masks before entering.