The Life of Richard D. Watkins
Richard D. Watkins
age 84 of Canton, passed away on Oct. 3, 2014 after an extended illness. He was born on Sept. 16, 1930 to the late Ross and Mary Alice Watkins. Richard graduated from Timken Vocational High School. He served the community in his political career as 10th Ward Councilman for 12 years, Stark County Commissioner for eight years, and Mayor of Canton for 12 years. He was founder and president of Stark Enterprises, Inc. for over 50 years. He served in the United States Marine Corp. and was a 33 degree Mason. During his entire life, he was an accomplished vocalist and music was a very important part of his life. He sang at numerous events throughout the community even being known affectionately as the ''singing mayor.'' He had a humanitarian spirit that carried throughout his life. He served on and contributed to many organizations including: Masonic Temple, McKinley Lodge, founded the Canton Community Clinic, helped to develop Cornerstone Square, was a member of the National League of Cities, U. S. Conference of Mayors and recognized by Presidential declarations, American Legion, Rotary International, Toastmasters International, Negro Old Timers, Tadmor Shrine, Manager of Mighty Mite Baseball. He is preceded in death by brothers George, Donald, and Bruce. He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Marlene; children Tim (Tina) Watkins, Matt (Mary) Watkins, June Watkins, and Malia (Brian) Morrison; grandchildren Rick (Jaime), Breanna, Andrew (Nicole), Shawn (Jenna), Victoria (Mike), Jessica, Adam, Katie, Mitch, and Nate; great-grandchildren Kody, Katrina, Savanna, Jacob, Liliana, Alexa, and Jocelyn; sisters and brothers Gwen, Marilyn, David and Tom. Friends may call Monday, Oct. 6th from 5 p.m.- 8 p.m. at Arnold Funeral Home (Canton) and a Masonic Service will begin at 4:45 p.m. Monday. A celebration of his life will be held at Arnold on Tuesday, Oct. 7th at 2 p.m. Friends may call one hour prior. Burial will be in Rose Hill Cemetery in Massillon.