Robert “Bob” Gene Watkins departed this life Tuesday morning, April 18, 2023, at the Spring Creek Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Joliet, Illinois at the age of 92.
He was born August 12, 1930, in Okmulgee, Oklahoma to Robert Watkins and Odessa Taylor. His family moved to Kansas City, Kansas, where he attended Northeast Jr. High and Sumner High School. Robert enlisted in the U.S. Army in March 1948, serving as an Artillery Weapons Specialist. After being honorably discharged, he made Kankakee, Illinois his home, residing there for over 65 years until transferring to the nursing home in October 2022. Most of his career he worked in the automotive industry at several car dealerships. He retired from James Miller Chevrolet in Chicago Heights, Illinois and then he worked several other jobs including a Security Guard. In his later years, he loved feeding the wildlife; squirrels, birds, stray cats, raccoons, chipmunks, or whatever came to his front door.
He was preceded in death by his only child, daughter, Barbara Ann Brown, and his sister, Shirley Mae Lombré. Robert married three times: Harriett, Osie, and Ruth, all who also preceded him in death.
Affectionately called “Uncle Gene”, he leaves to cherish his memory, two nieces, Cheryl and Traci Lombré, one great nephew, Reyvon Lombré and two great nieces, Lauren and Alexis Lombré, all of Chicago; one great, great niece, Samari Taylor of Danville, Illinois; a sister-in-law, Rosie (Robert) Kershaw of Kankakee; and a host of good friends and relatives.
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