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Kathryn Watkins

Kathryn Phyllis Watkins (Haddad)

Friday, September 8th, 1939 - Thursday, December 26th, 2019
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Obituary

Kathryn Haddad-Watkins--a teacher to thousands, a mother-figure to many, and a friend to all--was called home by the Lord on Thursday, December 26, 2019. She was 80.

Born September 8, 1939 in Grand Rapids, Michigan to Evelyn and Simon Haddad, Kathy was the oldest of 5. She attended St. Stephen’s Elementary School and graduated from Marywood Academy High School. She received her Bachelor’s degree from Aquinas College and later went on to earn a Master’s degree from Western Michigan University. She became a teacher for Grand Rapids Public Schools and taught first grade for 41 ½ years. She put her heart and soul into everything, especially her passion for teaching. Long after she retired, she was recognized by many students who greeted her with a warm hug and thanked her for the lasting impression she left on them.

When her parents died young, she took over the responsibility to raise her 8-year-old brother, Michael as if he was her own son. In 1976, she married the love of her life, Clarke Watkins III. A year later they welcomed their first child together, Ariesa “Risi”, who Kathy would often say was “the best thing that ever happened to her.”

Kathy enjoyed spending a lot of time with family, knitting, going to Grand Haven, and relaxing at the cottage. She will be remembered for the kindness she extended to everyone she met, her gentle voice, the delicious Arabic meals she prepared for her family, and the stories of her life she repeatedly told to her daughter and grandchildren.

She is survived by her devoted daughter, Ariesa (BJ) Joseph; her seven grandchildren, Karisah, Riana, Delilah, Camille, Kyrie, JJ, and Anisa; two great-grandchildren; brothers Rick and Mike (Pam), sisters Shirley and Barb, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews, and friends.

Friends are invited to celebrate Kathy’s life on Saturday January 4, 2020 at Ofield Funeral Home(4500 Kalamazoo Ave SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49508). There will be a time of visitation from 10-11 a.m. and funeral service at 11 a.m.
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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Saturday, January 4th, 2020 | 10:00am - 11:00am
    When
    Saturday, January 4th, 2020 10:00am - 11:00am
    Location
    Ofield Funeral Home
    Address
    4500 Kalamazoo Avenue SE
    Kentwood, MI 49508
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Funeral Service

    Saturday, January 4th, 2020 | 11:00am
    When
    Saturday, January 4th, 2020 11:00am
    Location
    Ofield Funeral Home
    Address
    4500 Kalamazoo Avenue SE
    Kentwood, MI 49508
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email

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Sandra Keller

Posted at 08:02pm
Wishing you peace to bring comfort, courage to face the days ahead and loving memories to forever hold in your hearts.
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Sandra Keller purchased the Sweet Tranquility Basket for the family of Kathryn Watkins.

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Rick Haddad

Posted at 06:27pm
From your Loving Brothers. & Sisters. : Rick , Shirley, Barbara & Michael - You will be missed Sister hopefully you are at peace with our parents!
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Rick Haddad purchased flowers for the family of Kathryn Watkins.

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Heartfelt Sympathies Store

Posted at 02:34pm
Peace, Prayers and Blessings, your friends at Wired. Scott Knappen & Scott Helder
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Flowers were purchased for the family of Kathryn Watkins.

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Heartfelt Sympathies Store

Posted at 02:28pm
With heartfelt condolences, the Knappen family.
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Flowers were purchased for the family of Kathryn Watkins.

Nadine Colbath

Posted at 01:07pm
Kathy is my ex-sister-in-law. She always had the best of intentions. Her words were kind and loving and her voice soft-spoken. She loved her family to the moon and back. She was a gentle soul.
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