George Elwin Watkins died on April 8, 1998 at his home in St. George, Utah at the age of 76.
In contemplating this transition he frequently expressed gratitude for the privilege he has had of living for a season upon this wide wonderful world. He was also deeply appreciative of the opportunity he cherished of knowing and associating with the many great and good people who touched his life-particularly those with whom he shared sacred familial relationships.He was born on March 7, 1922 in Hiawatha, Utah, the second son of George Reynold Watkins and Rhoda King Watkins. Although most of his life was spent in the New York City area, he was always proud of his Western roots and "his people" of his native state. He married Geraldine Swensen in the Salt Lake LDS Temple on September 2, 1948. She died in July 1981. He married Louise Bennett in the Provo, Utah Temple on August 20, 1985.
He graduated from East High School in Salt Lake City. He received a BS degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Utah, an MS from the Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, NJ and a PhD. from Columbia University in the City of New York. He was also a graduate of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, N.Y. and served as an engineering officer on the U.S. Maritime Commission ships.
Most of his professional career was spent with the electric power industry. He was a Vice President of the Edison Electric Institute, which is the national association of investor-owned electric utilities. For thirteen years he was the Executive Director of the Empire State Electric Energy Research Institute, which is the research and development affiliate of the electric utilities in New York State. At various times he served on scientific and engineering advisory committees of several universities. He also served as a member and chairman of the International Electric Research Exchange, and as a member of the United States/Canadian Water Resources Board.
He was an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints--a High Priest in the Bloomington (Saint George) Fifth Ward. Church callings included a mission in the Spanish American Mission, Ward Clerk and Bishop of the Manhattan (N.Y.) Ward, and Stake Mission President, Stake President and Patriarch of the New York, New York Stake. He also served as a Ward Clerk in the Bloomington Fifth Ward.
He is survived by his wife, Louise; by daughters: Janis (Scott) Woodhouse, North Plainview, NJ; Lois (William D.) Johnson, La Canada, CA; Alyson, Kaysville, UT and Sharon (Kendall) Hales, La Crecenta, CA; and by sons: Thomas (Susan), Salt Lake City, UT; J. Stanford (Murlene), San Mateo, CA; Mitchell H. (Michelle), Cranbury, NJ and W. Lincoln (Rebecca), New Canaan, CT. He is also survived by nine of his wives' children, among them are Carolyn Lewis, Layton, UT; Jacqueline Anderson, Riverton, UT; Constance Cohen, Provo, UT; Elizabeth Killian, Cedar City, UT; Emily Blades, Salt Lake City, UT; Daniel Cohen, Midway, UT; Mary Heather Baker and Dr. David Cohen, St. George, UT; numerous grandchildren; and by sisters and brothers: Nadine (Dr. Joseph R.) Evans, Salt Lake City, UT; Phyllis (Marlen D.) McGhee, St. George, UT; Professor Reynold K. (Elaine) Watkins, North Logan, UT and Richard C. (Kaye) Watkins, Salt Lake City, UT.
Funeral services will be Tuesday, April 14, 1998, 2 p.m. at the Bloomington LDS Stake Center. Friends may call Monday, 7 to 8 p.m. at the Metcalf Mortuary, 300 St. George Blvd., and Tuesday, 1 to 2 p.m. at the Stake Center prior to services. Interment, with a brief graveside service, will be Wednesday, 12 noon, in the Wasatch Lawn Memorial Park, Salt Lake City, Utah under the direction of Metcalf Mortuary.
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