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Wednesday, September 7, 2016

James R. Watkins, 81, of 212 Olive Street, Bolivar, NY

James R. Watkins

BOLIVAR -- James R. Watkins, 81, of 212 Olive Street passed away Friday August 26, 2016, at home, following a lengthy illness. 

Born December 9, 1934 in Blossburg, PA, he was the son of Benjamin and Ida Hazlett Watkins. Jim married the former Grace W. Ives on June 25, 1955 in Elkland, PA; Mrs. Watkins preceded him in death on February 18, 2010.

He was a 1952 graduate of the Elkland Joint High School. Jim went on to receive his Bachelor’s Degree in Education from Mansfield University of Pennsylvania in 1956, then and a Master’s Degree in Education and Elementary Administration from SUNY Fredonia. 

Jim started his teaching career at Bolivar Central School as a 6th grade teacher for nine years. He went on to be the elementary principal at Oswayo Valley School District for one year. In 1966, Jim became Principal at Allentown, Scio, and Belmont Elementary Schools. In 1972 he became the Elementary Principal at Scio Central School, retiring in 1995. 

Jim was active in the community. His memberships include the Bolivar United Methodist Church, Scio Lions Club, member and past master of the Macedonia Lodge 258 F &AM Bolivar, New York State Retired Teachers Association, IAABO Basketball Officials Association of Allegany County, Allegany County Umpires Association, Allegany County Soccer Officials Association, and a former trustee of the Village of Bolivar. Mr. Watkins officiated soccer, basketball, and baseball in Allegany County for many years.

Surviving are one son, Hugh (Nonie) Watkins, Rapid City SD; Three daughters, Rhonda (Richard) Roberts, Cuba; Debra (Darryl) Kloth, Jacksonville, FL; Debra Roe (Tommy) McDaniel, Middleburg, FL. Also surviving are four grandchildren, two great-grandchildren, and several nieces and nephews. 

In addition to his wife, Jim was preceded in death by his brother, Eugene Watkins, and sister, Sylvia Dawn Hendershot.

Friends may call at the Schaffner Funeral Home Inc., Bolivar, on Wednesday, August 31, 2016 from 4-7 PM. Funeral services were held on Thursday, September 1, 2016 from the funeral home at 2 PM; Mr. Watkins son-in-law, Rev. Richard Roberts,  officiated. Burial was in Maple Lawn Cemetery, Bolivar.

Memorials may be made to the Scio Lions Club, c/o Joe Nickerson, 4266 West Nickerson Dr., Scio, NY 14880 or to the Pioneer Oil Museum of New York, PO Box 332, Bolivar, NY 14715.

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