Obituary Listings

Esther Frances Watkinson-Wilkins

November 8, 1934 September 10, 2018
Esther Frances Watkinson-Wilkins
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Obituary for Esther Frances Watkinson-Wilkins

Esther Frances Beck Watkinson-Wilkins, 83, of Berrien Springs passed away Monday, Sept. 10, 2018 at Hanson Hospice Center in Stevensville.

She is survived by her daughter, Jacquelyn (John) Hilderbrandt; one sibling, Patricia Budd; and numerous nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents; seven siblings; and husbands, John Peter Watkinson and Robert A. Wilkins, Jr.

Fran was born Nov. 8, 1934 to Joseph and Bernice Beck, in Carnegie, Pa., the seventh of nine children. She attended Mount Vernon Academy for two years of high school where she made lifelong friends. She had a great work ethic which began in the second grade selling candy bars. After high school she worked for Alcoa in downtown Pittsburgh as a file clerk and then became a key punch operator.

She met John “Jack” Peter Watkinson and against both their families’ wishes, they eloped. Since Fran was only 19, her mother went along. They were married in Winchester, Va. on Jan. 6, 1954, after which Fran’s mother returned home via the bus and they continued on their honeymoon. Initially they lived in St. Petersburg, Fla., where their daughter Jackie was born. Shortly after, they moved back to Carnegie, where Jack was self-employed. She was a devoted mother, and in her spare time, she developed hobbies such as painting, gardening and became a licensed private airplane pilot. She returned to work as a key punch operator in the late ‘60s.

In 1971 she and Jack relocated to Berrien Springs, where she managed their business, Berrien Wholesale Tire. In 1976 she completed an Associate of Arts degree at Andrews University and in 1979 completed an Associate degree in Nursing from Lake Michigan College. She worked as an RN at Memorial Hospital in South Bend, where she was employed for 15 years. From 1994 to 1999 she worked for Lakeland Hospital as a home health nurse.

She was widowed in 1986. In 1991 she met Robert A. Wilkins, Jr. They married the following year and enjoyed more than 25 years together, traveling and working on mission projects.

A Memorial Service will be conducted at Morgan Hall, Adventist Frontier Missions, 10652 Range Line Road, Berrien Springs on Thursday, Sept. 20. Visitation will begin at 5:30 p.m. and the service will begin at 6:30 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, please consider contributing to Your Story Hour, PO Box 15, Berrien Springs, MI 49103 or online at www.yourstoryhour.org.

Online memories may be shared at www.allredfuneralhome.com.


To send flowers or a remembrance gift to the family of Esther Frances Watkinson-Wilkins, please visit our Tribute Store.

Previous Events

Visitation

Thursday

20

Sep

5:30 PM 9/20/2018 5:30:00 PM - 6:30 PM 9/20/2018 6:30:00 PM
Adventist Frontier Missions/Morgan Hall

10652 Range Line Road
Berrien Springs, Michigan 49103

Adventist Frontier Missions/Morgan Hall
10652 Range Line Road Berrien Springs 49103 Michigan
United States

Memorial Service

Thursday

20

Sep

6:30 PM 9/20/2018 6:30:00 PM
Adventist Frontier Missions/Morgan Hall

10652 Range Line Road
Berrien Springs, Michigan 49103

Adventist Frontier Missions/Morgan Hall
10652 Range Line Road Berrien Springs 49103 Michigan
United States

Cemetery Details

Location

Rose Hill Cemetery Final Resting Place

Rose Hill Road
Berrien Springs, Michigan 49103

Rose Hill Road Berrien Springs 49103 Michigan
United States

Memorial Contribution

Your Story Hour

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