SIKESTON -- Effie Lee Merick Watkins was born in Sikeston on Aug. 26, 1950, to the late Lloyd C. Merick and Helen Wilson Merick. She passed away on Dec. 26, 2017, at the age of 67.
On Dec. 23, 1970, she married Jimmy D. Watkins in Bell City, who preceded her in death on May 16, 1975.
She received a B.S. in education in 1971 and a M.A. in education in 1986 from Southeast Missouri State. Effie was a member of the MSTA, Eagles Auxiliary, American Legion Auxiliary and the VFW Auxiliary.
She worked as a Social Studies Teacher, teaching soldiers in Germany and Georgia for three years and then taught 25 years at Bell City High School. After teaching, she was General Manager of Super 8 Motels in Sikeston and Cape Girardeau for five years. Her last job was admitting clerk at Missouri Delta Medical Center in Sikeston for over three years.
She was raised on a farm west of Tanner and during the rest of her life, she resided in Cape Girardeau, Fort Huachuca, Ariz., Pirmasens, Germany, and Fort Gordon, Ga. Upon her husband's death in 1975, she moved back to Sikeston for the remainder of her life.
Her religious affiliation was a private matter, but she always believed her belief in God and daily talks with him is what got her through all the years alone without her beloved Jimmy and her parents.
Survivors include: two stepsons, Jimmy D. Watkins and Jeffrey L. Watkins; four brothers-in-law, Gerald Watkins, Bob Watkins, Lonnie Watkins and Ronnie Watkins; six sisters-in-law, Beverly Merick, Ellen Watkins, Darlene Watkins, Katie Watkins, Linda Watkins and Susan Watkins; one nephew, Michael L. Merick; three nieces, Janet Hardin, Crystal Crossley and Leann Williams; 10 great-nieces and great-nephews; three great-great-nieces and -nephews; two special friends, Stanley Shanks and Alyssa Klos; and many other special friends from the Sikeston and Bell City area.
In addition to her parents and husband she was preceded in death by: one daughter, Lori Rachelle Watkins; one brother, Lloyd C. Merick Jr.; her mother-in-law, Geraldine "Gert" Watkins; four brothers-in-law, Bill Watkins, Raymond Stovall, Ernie Haynes and Gary Watkins; five sisters-in-laws, Norma Stovall, Ailene Haynes, Lynn Watkins, Ruby Gooch and Lillian Merick.
Visitation will be Friday, Dec. 29, 2017, at 10 a.m. until the time of funeral service at noon at Nunnelee Funeral Chapel in Sikeston with Jeff Polk officiating.
Interment will follow in Garden of Memories cemetery at Sikeston.