Hemlock: Robert Watkins was born January 19, 1918 in the Village of Natchez, in the parish of Natchitoches Louisiana. This area is a historic part of Louisiana, in that it is also the home of the oldest church founded in 1803 for and by the Creole people of which his mother belonged. Robert was the only child of Eva Patterson and Johnny Watkins. After the untimely death of his mother, Robert was reared by his maternal uncle Cleveland Patterson.
In 1944 Robert married Rosa Mae Youngblood., daughter of Herbert Youngblood and Lucille Jones. That union produced 6 children.
Robert had heard stories from his friends about upstate New York, that it was a great place to live, work and rear children. Therefore he, Rosa Mae and a number of their children and family friends left Louisiana and headed for this “Promised Land”. They followed the harvesting of crops north. The family was pushed from the south by prejudice and pulled to the north by the promise of employment. During the northward journey Robert and Rosa Mae had another son. Once in the north they expanded their family with the birth of 3 daughters. In the north Robert found employment as an auto mechanic. He purchased land and settled among the Finger Lakes.
Robert is predeceased by 2 sons; James Edward and Robert Jr. and a grandson, John. He is survived by daughters; Eva Mae, Anita, Sheila, Elizabeth, daughter in-law Diane and a son (E.J.). He is also survived by grandchildren; Ebonie, Jamall, Cordell, Brandon, Cheyenne, Shawn, Lynette, James Jr. and Sabrina as well as great grandchildren; LaQuasia, Trinity, Tyler, Taylor, LaMiyah, LaVaughn, Kani, Zaria and a host of friends.
After 95 years, in the morning of February 1, 2013 Robert quietly departed from this world. His family and friends will miss him endlessly.
Friends may call on Thursday, February 7, 2013 from 4pm-5:30pm at the Kevin W. Dougherty Funeral Home Inc., 21 Big Tree Street, Rte 15&20A, Livonia, NY. Services will be held following calling at 5:30pm with Pastor Richard Hass officiating. To send a condolence and for further information please visit: www.doughertyfuneralhomes.com