Robert Nuckols Watkin, Jr., 97, a long-time resident of Chattanooga, Tennessee, passed away March 31, 2021 in Richmond, Virginia. He was born in Dallas, Texas to Robert Nuckols Watkin and Martha Chappell Easley Watkin and was preceded in death by his parents, his sisters Emily Watkin and Mildred Watkin DeVore McCollough, and his wife, Alice Harriotte Gant Watkin. He is survived by his children, Martha Watkin (John Gass), Robert Watkin (Phoebe Yang Watkin), and Laura Ferguson; his beloved grandchildren, Shelby Ferguson, Caroline Ferguson, Anna Ferguson, David Yang-Watkin, and Eliana Yang-Watkin; and his devoted nephews, Jay, Allan, and David DeVore.
In 1944, Dr. Watkin served in France with the 103d Infantry Division during World War II. He earned degrees from Southern Methodist University (B.B.A, 1946), Yale University (LL.B., 1949), Union Theological Seminary in Virginia (B.Div., 1956), and Vanderbilt University (Ph.D., 1969). In 1952, when he was practicing law in Dallas, Dr. Watkin contracted a serious case of hepatitis, during which he began to wrestle with what later became an unmistakable call to ordained ministry. As a Presbyterian minister active for over 40 years, he faithfully pastored congregations in Franklin, Tennessee; Dallas, Texas; and Chattanooga, Tennessee. Upon retirement in Chattanooga, he was delighted to accept an adjunct faculty position in Biblical Studies and Church History at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga where he taught for several years.
Bob will be remembered for his outgoing personality, his love of people, his quick wit and kind heart. He deeply loved his family, his friends, and his God.
A graveside service will be held at 2:00pm on Friday, May 28 at Woodlawn Memorial Park in Nashville, Tennessee. Memorial gifts may be made to: Oasis Life Network (the ministry of Bob’s son, The Rev. Robert Watkin), 6565 Arlington Blvd. 3rd floor, Falls Church, VA 22042, www.oasislifenetwork.org ; or The Children's Nutrition Program of Haiti (CNP), P.O. Box 3720, Chattanooga, TN 37404, www.cnphaiti.org