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Barbara Lee Watkins

March 7, 1933 June 26, 2018
Barbara Lee Watkins
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Obituary for Barbara Lee Watkins

Mrs. Barbara Lee (Whitacre) Watkins, born on March 7, 1933 in St. Louis, Missouri, to the late Freda Lee Sullivan Whitacre Deibel and the late Ray O. Whitacre, passed away at age 85 on June 26, 2018 in Meridian, Mississippi. Better known to her grandchildren and great-grandchildren as “Granny B,” she was an artist, art educator, novelist, and had many other creative talents including sewing, knitting, crocheting, and ceramics. She was active in the arts community in the Jackson, Mississippi area for decades, teaching private art lessons and displaying works in various galleries, as well as establishing her own gallery with four friends, called Artists Five. Barbara was married to the late Jason Watkins. Her brother, Jimmy Whitacre, preceded her in death. Barbara is survived by her daughters, Deborah (Deb) Enis (Andy), Kilmichael, Mississippi and Carla Dixon (Mike), Raymond, Mississippi; sons, Michael (Mike) Hartley (Dianne), Bradley (Brad) Hartley (Linnae), and Kirk Hartley (JoAnne), Madison, Mississippi; brother, William O. Whitacre (Ruth), Fort Worth, Texas; half-brother, Henry (Ike) Deibel, Tipton, Indiana; half-sister, Pam Lowery, St. Louis, Missouri; eight grandchildren, Matthew Hartley (Laura), Leah Hartley, Madison, Mississippi, Thea Middleton (Mark), Hazlehurst, Mississippi, Megan Dixon, Raymond, Mississippi, Michael Ishee (Tori), Charlotte, North Carolina, Cameron Hartley (Morgan), Madison, Mississippi, Natalie Powell (Jason), Columbus, Mississippi, and Audrey Chaney (Edward), Starkville, Mississippi; and eight great-grandchildren. She also leaves behind her beloved dog, Suzi-Q, with her friend Diane Pace, Meridian, Mississippi. Friends and family can pay their respects at the celebration of life, led by her children, on Saturday, July 7 from 1:00 - 3:00 p.m. at River Bend on the Natchez Trace Parkway, Milepost 122.6.

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