Thurman E. 'Wiener' Watkins

Thurman E. 'Wiener' Watkins

  • Obituaries

The indomitable spirit of Thurman E. "Wiener" Watkins faded away at the Cleveland Clinic on Sunday, September 10, 2017, due to complications of liver cancer and renal failure. He was 71 years old.


Wiener was born on March 29, 1946,  in Woodsfield, Ohio, the son of Martha (Bates) Highman and Thurman Watkins. He graduated from Ashland High School and The Ohio State University. While attending OSU, he worked various part-time jobs at F.E. Myers, Faultless, the Bob-a-Lou Bar and the Copper Kettle in Ashland, as well as the Char-Bar in Columbus. After graduation, he worked for 30 years at the Ohio Department of Transportation, retiring in 2006. He landed what he called his "dream job", at Mohican Hills Golf Course. Wiener loved the people, the family atmosphere and the game. In addition to golf, he lived for Ohio State sports: football, wrestling and basketball. Summers would find him in front of the television watching the Indians and, in the fall, he would be at Crestview volleyball matches watching his "girls", especially great-nieces, Raven, Macie and Natalie Restille.


A Vietnam veteran, Wiener proudly served in the United States Navy as a Seabee. He dedicated himself to community causes, especially veterans affairs. Wiener was serving as Commander of the Ashland County Joint Veterans Commission at the time of his death. He was Past Commander of American Legion Post #88 several times, Past Commander of Amvets Post #96, life member of VFW Post #96, a member of the Marine Corps League of Richland County, the 40 et 8 Voiture #800, NMCB #58 and was a dedicated member of the Ashland Veterans Honor Guard, assisting with countless funerals throughout the county and touching countless lives in the process. He was Past Exalted Ruler of Ashland Elks #1360, a dual member of the Eagles, belonging to the Aerie #4408 in Palm Harbor, Florida and Aerie #2178 in Ashland. 


On June 26, 1982, he married his forever wife, Susan Smock. During retirement, Wiener and Susan were fortunate to winter in Dunedin, Florida. He considered this time to be an extended family reunion, reconnecting with another branch of the family. 


In addition to his beloved wife, Susan Watkins, he is survived by two sisters, Mary (Phil) Rush of Grosse Ile, MI, and Martha Highman of Ashland; two brothers, Oliver Highman of Kissimmee, FL and Don Highman of Ashland; his mother-in-law, Joan Kohl of Sebastian, FL; three sisters-in-law, Doreen Park of Ashland, Patricia Smock (Julie Myers) of Medford, MA and Sandra Swan of Wakeman; as well as many nieces, including the "daughters he never had", Tonya (Larry) Gregg and Nicole (Tony) Restille; many nephews; and several great-nieces and great-nephews. 


He is preceded in death by his mother and father; four brothers, George Bates, John Park, Larry Highman and Bill Highman; father-in-law, Art Smock; and his beloved couch companion, his cat Myrtle, who faithfully sat on his lap or head in front of the tv nightly.


The family will receive friends from 4:00-7:00 p.m. Thursday, September 14, 2017, at the Ashland Home of Wappner Funeral Directors, 308 Claremont Avenue. Additional visitation will be held from 10:00-11:00 a.m. Friday in the funeral home. A graveside service will follow at 11:30 a.m. in Ashland Cemetery with the Elks #1360 Club officiating and Ashland County Honor Guard presenting military honors. 


In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Feline Sanctuary Inc., 1130 E. Main St., #136, Ashland, Ohio 44805 or the Ashland County Veterans Honor Guard, c/o VFW Post #1067, 125 E. Main St., Ashland, Ohio 44805.


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