Mary Vera (nee Bromwell) Watkins, aged 88, passed peacefully on June 1, 2021, while a resident of St. Joseph Nursing Home in Catonsville, MD. She was born on July 27, 1932.
Mary was the oldest of two children of William and Mary (nee Ryan) Bromwell. Her beloved brother, Jack preceded her in death. She talked fondly of her school years at Catholic High in Baltimore, where she met some of her dearest friends.
The love of her life, George John Watkins III, preceded her in death on April 15, 2006. The family remember her stories of their courtship on the street cars and George pacing in front of the jewelry story as he gathered the courage to go in. They married on June 30, 1951 at St. Catherine of Siena Church in Baltimore. Their marriage of almost 55 years was a joy to behold, and they raised five amazing children supporting them in their sports, activities, and educational pursuits.
And while they loved their children, it was her 20 grandchildren and 6 great-grandchildren who she truly adored. Every birthday brought a card with a check, and every Christmas at Grammie and Pop’s house was a delight; with great food, piles of presents and a good deal of laughter. Other family celebrations were enjoyed at their summer place in Bethany Beach where everyone was welcome.
Mary also loved her faith and was a long-time member of Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in Parkville, MD, before relocating to Oak Crest and then St. Joseph’s Nursing Home. She was active in Bible studies and charismatic prayer groups, often traveling to conferences and celebrations of her faith. She also enjoyed sewing and graced her children and grandchildren with many handmade treasures including baptismal gowns, beautiful dresses and amazing Halloween costumes. Many of these treasures will be passed down to the great grandchildren.
She spent a number of years as a crossing guard near their family home in Parkville, and enjoyed traveling with George whenever possible including trips around the USA and internationally to China, Ireland, Israel, and England as well as a much loved pilgrimage to Lourdes and Rome with her granddaughter, Charlotte.
She is survived by her children: Mary Ellen (Zachary Taylor), Benita (Douglas Hicks), George (Andrea), Stephen (Allison) and Matthew (Rachel).
And her amazing, beautiful, talented, smart grandchildren and great-grandchildren (all you had to do was ask her about them): Zachary Taylor and wife Molly McLaughlin, Mary Elizabeth Taylor; Kathryn Hicks and fiancé Kevin Costa, Joseph Hicks with wife Jina Suk along with great-granddaughters Joan Yoojin and Jane YooKjing; Dr. Mary Grace (Hicks) Renfrow with husband, Brandon Renfrow and great-grandson Brando, Clara Watkins; Dr. Jessica Watkins with husband Dr. Jared Speck and great-grandchildren Genevieve and Theodore; Olivia and Jack Watkins; Maggie (Watkins) and husband Brian Bradley, expecting great-grandchild #6, Amelia (Watkins) and husband Tyler Martin, along with Jacob, Charlotte, Liam, Brigid, Kathleen, Henry, Nora, Grace and Damian Watkins.
Mary truly loved her life, her family and her faith. Every encounter with her ended with a blessing on the forehead and the reminder that you were “good, strong and smart”. She will be missed greatly by her family and friends but we all rejoice that she has returned home to heaven where George has been patiently waiting for her.
The viewing will take place on Friday, June 4, 2021, from 7:00-9:00 p.m. at the Peaceful Alternatives Funeral Home, 2325 York Road, Timonium, MD 21093. The funeral will take place on Saturday, June 5, 2021, at 10:00 a.m., St. Ursula’s Catholic Church, 8801 Harford Road, Parkville, MD 21234. In lieu of flowers, the family asked that those funds be sent as donations to St. Joseph Nursing Home, 1222 Tugwell Dr., Catonsville, MD 21228.