Obituary: Earle Quenten Watkins, 99

by beth on September 30, 2016

Earle Quenten Watkins, 99, of Southborough died peacefully at UMass Medical Center on September 27, 2016 after a short illness.

He was the husband of Eleanor Eva (Woodbury) Watkins who passed away in 1987. He was the son of Charles Edgar Watkins and Esther Winnifred Nourse Watkins.

A lifetime resident of Southborough, he was born in the town “upstairs in the front room.” Earle graduated from Peter’s High School in 1934 and received an Associate’s Degree in Electrical Construction from Wentworth Institute in 1936. Earle began his 44-year career in quality control at Warren Telechron in Ashland, later G.E. Telechron and then Timex, retiring in 1980.

In 1943 he married Eleanor before joining the army. Earle was then assigned to Company F of the 1308 Engineers. He was stationed in England and then France where his unit was sent to the Battle of the Bulge where the unit formed a defense line along the Meuse River near the Belgium border. His unit was later assigned to Normandy to be post engineers at Camp Lucky Strike near Le Havre, and then to Nice on the Riviera to build an R&R for troops on leave. In 1945 the unit was sent to Marseilles to board a ship headed for the Pacific theater of the war. They landed on Okinawa, and then were sent to Korea. He was discharged from the army in January 1946.

Earle and Eleanor had two sons: Jeffrey Charles Watkins (1947) of Northborough and Jonathan Woodbury Watkins (1950-2009). In addition to his son Jeffrey, he leaves his daughter-in-law Diane Watkins of Hubbardston; his grandchildren, Megan Powers and her husband James; Deirdre Watkins, both of Hubbardston; Joshua Watkins and his wife Barbara of West Boylston; a great granddaughter Moira Powers; his nephew, Carmen Yon of Fitzwilliam, NH, and his niece, Mary Jo Bove Parker of Newmarket, NH.

Earle loved the town of Southborough and was active in the community. He was a member of the Southborough VFW and the American Legion. Earle was a past member of the Southborough Historical Commission, and the Southborough Historical Society. He was a member of the Southborough Companies of Militia and Minute from 1969 to 1986; Col./Commander 1970-71. He was a member of the First Community Church of Southborough. Earle had a generous and thoughtful heart; he loved Christmas and started accumulating gifts months ahead of time. Earle enjoyed stamp collecting, woodworking, fishing, boating, model railroading, photography, archery, gardening, camping, history, auto mechanics; his interests were seemingly endless. He never stopped learning something new. Earle would have been 100 years old on November 17, 2016.

There are not visiting hours.

A memorial service will be held on Thursday, October 6, at 1 PM at First community Church, 137 Southville Road, Southborough. Burial will be private in the Southborough Rural Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be sent in his memory to the First Community Church, 137 Southville Road, Southborough, MA 01772

Arrangements are under the care of the Morris Funeral Home, Southborough. To leave words of condolence to the family, please visit Morris funeralparlor.com

(Obituary via Morris Funeral Home)

1 beth September 30, 2016 at 3:52 PM

Earlier this year, Southborough Access Media produced a video of Southborough Veteran’s Life Lessons. Earl was one of the veterans interviewed. You can view the first segment with him here.

You can also read a story that Southborough Wicked Local wrote on the WWII vet’s experiences here.

2 Donna McDaniel September 30, 2016 at 8:10 PM

Earle and his wife were among the first people I met when I moved to town, getting acquainted through our common interest in history. What comes to my mind is that he was a “grand” man…I will miss seeing him once in a while at the Senior Center and know that others who had the gift of time with him there will too.
Do read his interview on SAM or read it on Southborough Wicked Local (website). The number of veterans with his memories of the war in Europe is dwindling and this is a chance to hear exactly what a participant remembers. (Our history books would be more interesting with these real-life stories.)

3 Dave Monroe October 2, 2016 at 9:59 PM

Rest in peace Mr. Watkins. Thank you for all you did for our country.

Dave Monroe

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