John Henry Watkins, 58, of Portsmouth, passed away Tuesday, May 10, 2022, in the SOMC ER. He was born August 14, 1963, in Portsmouth, a son of the late Mary Marjorie (Fitzgerald) and Robert Watkins, Sr.
A 1982 Portsmouth High School graduate, John was reared in Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church and was a member of the Trinity Masonic Lodge #9. SSgt Watkins retired after 20 years as a proud veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, where he was awarded the Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal w/5 Stars, National Defense Service Medal w/1 Star, Humanitarian Service Medal, Sea Service Deployment Medal w/2 Stars, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Joint Meritorious Unit Award, Meritorious Unit Commendation w/1 Star, Certificate of Commendation w/3 Stars, Letter of Appreciation (3) and the Rifle Expert Badge.
John is survived by his wife of 24 years, Patricia Rae Stapleton Watkins. The couple was married in Jacksonville, NC on December 10, 1997.
Also surviving are his children, Chelsea Alesandra Watkins of Portsmouth, John Henry Watkins, Jr. with the U.S. Air Force in Texas, Justin Curtis Shaffer of Portsmouth, and Shane Stapleton of Searcy, AR; siblings, Robert Watkins, Jr., Alphonso (Rhonda) Watkins of Knoxville, TN, Gloria Watkins of Columbus, and Diana and Loretta Watkins, both of Dayton; sisters-in-law, Kathy King of Portsmouth and Sonya Stapleton of Wheelersburg; five grandchildren, Zane Stapleton, Nevaeh Watkins, and Aaron, Alex and Aiden Stapleton; special nieces, nephews and their families, Saleeta (Nathan) Willis, Stephanie (Kevin) Preston, Neisha and Nekia Watkins, and Nathan King; and many other nieces, nephews, and their families.
A Memorial Service will be held at 11 A.M. Monday at the Ralph F. Scott Funeral Home in Portsmouth with Bishop Harold Bell officiating. Interment will be in Greenlawn Cemetery’s Soldier’s Circle at a later date.
The family will receive friends at the funeral home from 10 A.M to 11 A.M. Monday.
Military services will be conducted by the James Dickey Post #23 American Legion Honor Detail.
The flag of the United States Marine Corps will fly at the funeral home in honor of Mr. Watkins’ service to our country.
The family expresses sincere thanks to the Emergency Room staff of SOMC for the compassionate care received, especially, Dr. J. Entwistle, Tom, Dylan, Chase, Brock, Niccole, and Tracy Ferguson.