Merle James Watkins Sr


12/11/37  –  1/1/2024


image of Merle James Watkins Sr.

Merle James Watkins Sr.

Merle James Watkins Sr, surrounded by family, went home to our Heavenly Father on January 1, 2024, he was 86 years old. Papa was born at home in Tukwila, Washington to Melvin and Margaret Watkins on December 11, 1937.

He was preceded in death by his parents Melvin and Margaret Watkins; his wife, Charlotte; his Sister, Mavis Roseth (Ray); brothers, Marvin Watkins, Mert Watkins (Carol); son-in-law, James Morrison, Sr; brother-in-law, Glenn Woessner; sister-in-law, Sharon Prince; nephew, Hans Bernhardt;  and granddaughter, Michelle Johnny.

Merle is survived by his daughters, Theresa (Robert) Anderson of Buckley, WA, Virginia Morrison of Seattle, WA, Melody (Johnny) Mitchell of Seattle, WA, and Son, Merle Watkins Jr of Ellensburg, WA; his grandsons, Chad (Kirsten) Anderson, Wesley Mitchell Sr., and James “Mac ” Morrison Jr, and granddaughters Sasha and Shannon; along with several great grandchildren, nieces and nephews; his brother Mervin (Barb) Watkins of Lynnwood, WA; his sister-in-law Betty Watkins of Olympia, WA; brother-in-law Harry Bernhardt, sister-in-law Ruth Bernhardt of Cle Elum, WA, sister-in-law Mary Woessner of Seattle, WA, brother-in-law Ernie Woessner, and sister-in-law Patsy Woessner of Virginia.

image of Merle James Watkins

Merle James Watkins

Merle attended Foster high school. He married the love of his life, Charlotte, on August 9, 1957. They lived in Seattle and Renton before moving into their home in south Seattle, WA in 1964 raising their family.

Dad’s mechanical prowess started at an early age. His love for scooters, motorcycles, cars, and trucks started at his parent’s home inTukwila. He was removed from a class in high school by the administration to fix the school truck that broke down while out picking up Christmas trees. His ability to repair and problem solve carried into his true hobby of restoring and driving cars. He had a 1925 Model T, 1937 Ford, and his pride and joy the 1930 Model A Woody. Dad and Mom belonged to multiple different car clubs and would tour around the Pacific Northwest and beyond with their cars.

Merle worked at American Can Company as a journeyman mechanic until the early 1970s. He worked at Automotive Steam Cleaners and then owned his own bicycle shop, HI-line Cycle in Burien, WA where he had a motocross bicycle team which he loved helping the kids with their bikes. In the early 1980s Dad went to work for NW Enviro in Seattle where he solved problems through his inventions and genius mindset. At the time of his retirement, he was the purchasing agent.

Dad displayed his varied skill set in his neighborhood homes and other homes in the community. He was the first call and the only call most often. He would fix or troubleshoot most neighbors’ (plumbing, electrical, or you name it) problems within an hour or less. The smile on his face while helping others was infectious.

Through the years Dad and Mom took us on annual camping trips around Washington, Oregon, and California. Sometimes we did not know who was having more fun, Dad, or us kids.

Dad coached Merle’s soccer and baseball teams, his players had so much fun.

Dad and Mom were youth group leaders at our church in the 1970s, it was the biggest youth group I remember seeing. They would pick kids up, take them home and always made sure every kid was able to go on trips/outings and would make sure they all got home.

Our Father, Merle Watkins Sr., loved and lived the truths of Jesus Christ.

The services for Merle and Charlotte Watkins will be held on April 6th at 1:00 pm at St Matthews Lutheran Church, 1700 Edmonds Ave NE, Renton, WA 98056.

3 Responses to “Merle James Watkins Sr”

  • Denise Baysden says:

    “Uncle” Merle was the most generous, loving, compassionate men I have ever known. He took to every person the same. Didn’t matter what trouble you’d gotten yourself into, he and Charlotte were there with open arms to comfort and nurture, without judgement. My childhood would not have been anywhere near as fun and adventurous without them. What a good good Godly man. Walked the walk in Christ without question. Love to all his family.

  • David Nobis says:

    I remember him being very handy. And coaching merle jr in basketball he was a very supportive parent. The last time I saw him we were at a park in enumclaw and he stopped there with a bunch of Edsel car owners on there way to a show . A very kind soft spoken man.

  • Sam says:

    Uncle Merle represents what our culture acknowledges in an Uncle. Caring, listening, gives guidance when needed. I’d get calls, I live in Alaska. Sam, I haven’t seen your mom. Should I go up there? Our mom was independent and would take off on a road trip without checking in with them. His calls gave me peace of mind.
    After our dad passed, I brought Mom home. We came home to a flooded basement. I sat on the steps and cried after I automatically called our dad’s number in Alaska. It was such a reality check for me. After a while, thinking okay. I have to figure this out. I called Imcle Merle. He said he’d be right up. As soon as I saw him, I burr into tears. “I called my dad”. He nodded. After the crying jag he asked what would have he told you?

    I smiled. Call uncle Merle.

    He told me, there will be many times you’re going to want to call him.
    Be still and listen. You’ll hear him. Every time. He was right.

    Thank you for being that voice, the steady support, and having the friendship with our parents that Dad let me know I’d be in good hands with his friend.

    I’m sending my love to each of you. I’ll be there in April.


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