GRAETTINGER -- Vernon "Shorty" Watkins was born Feb. 3, 1935, in Royal, the son of Gayle and Leora (Monk) Watkins. He went to school in Ruthven and was a graduate of Ruthven High School. Following his education, he joined the United States Army.
On Aug. 26, 1978, Shorty was united in marriage to Eva Nissen in Graettinger where the couple lived and raised their eight children.
Shorty was a very humble and simple man. He enjoyed going to see friends for coffee with Eva, and frequenting garage sales and auctions. He had a true love of horses and owned many throughout his life. He was a very generous man who would help anyone in need. Shorty had a heart of gold; he dearly loved his "turtledove", Eva and he treasured every moment he spent with his family.
On Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013, Shorty passed away at the Lakeside Lutheran Home. He was 77.
Left to cherish his memory is his wife, Eva of Emmetsburg; children: Merlin Nissen of Emmetsburg, Marlene Kitto of Manitou Springs, CO, Mavis Nissen of Ruthven, Teresa Petersen of Red Oak, Steve Watkins (Sheryl) of Estherville, Cheri Mahan of Council Bluffs, Jackie Riepma (Ron) of Boyden and Shawna Gerdeman (Dean) of Dickens; a sister, Rita Cook of Dunnellon, FL; 15 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
Shorty was preceded in death by his brother, Martin Watkins; granddaughter, Shantal Clayton; brother-in-law, Ed Cook; and sister-in-law, Polly Watkins.
Services were Monday, Jan. 21, at the Joyce-Alesch Funeral Home in Graettinger. Military rites were presented by members of Nelson-Christensen American Legion Post # 164. Burial was in Valley View Cemetery.
Online condolences: www.joycefuneralhomes.com