Meriel H. Watkins

Written by Theresa Rose on January 12, 2015

Meriel H. Watkins, 92, of Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, died Saturday, January 10, 2015, at Park Place Elder Living.
Visitation, with family present, will be held on Wednesday, January 14, 2015, from noon until 1:30 p.m., at the Olson-Powell Memorial Chapel in Mt. Pleasant. A funeral service will be at 1:30 p.m., the same afternoon, at the Memorial Chapel with The Reverend Deb Stowers officiating. Burial will be in Forest Home Cemetery. Memorials have been established to First United Methodist Church and Hope Haven. On-line condolences may be directed to
Born June 14, 1922, in Yarmouth, IA, Meriel Helene was the daughter of Karl E. and Sylvia Hodson Baker. She was active in high school, played girls’ basketball, was a 4-H member, and graduated with academic honors in 1939. Following high school Meriel attended Burlington School of Cosmetology. On December 25, 1942, she married Charles T. Watkins at the home of her parents in Yarmouth. He preceded her in death on April 17, 2010.
During World War II, Meriel made a contribution to the war efforts by working at the Iowa Army Ammunition Plant. Following the war, she started her career as a cosmetologist, which she continued well into her 80s. For over 50 years, she owned and operated her own beauty parlor that was located in her home.
Meriel’s top priority was her two sons and grandchildren, as well as her daughters-in-law, whom she adored. She followed their lives and supported all of them, with equality, in their activities. She was an active member of First United Methodist Church, where she participated in United Methodist Women, along with various other church committees. She was a member of Chapter Original A of T.T.T., an auxiliary member of Alpha XI Delta, and a longtime member of Country Club on the River. She was an avid Bridge player and a ruthless Domino player. Meriel and her husband Charlie enjoyed square dancing in their younger years, traveling on both day trips and longer vacations, and eating out at various local restaurants. She took great pride in growing roses and irises.
Mrs. Watkins is survived by two sons, Randall (Pamela) Watkins of Iowa City, IA, and Danny (Margie) Watkins of Norcross, GA; one sister, Marjorie (John) McDowell of Mt. Pleasant, IA; and three brothers, Richard Baker of Mediapolis, IA, Ervin (Dorothy) Baker of Sperry, IA, and Dee (Kathryn) Baker of Los Angeles, CA; She is also survived by five grandchildren, Chloe Watkins, Jocelyn Reynolds, Kristin Watkins, Bryan Watkins, and Jennifer Watkins; along with three great-grandchildren, Canyon Watkins, Aubrey Reynolds, and Shea Reynolds.
Along with her husband, Charles, Meriel was preceded in death by her parents and a sister-in-law, Vironda Baker.