Wanda Lou Freeman Watkins
Hephzibah, GA – After a hard-fought battle with cancer, Wanda Lou Freeman Watkins, 60, loving wife of 42 years to Larry Zane Watkins, entered into her eternal rest Thursday afternoon, January 23, 2020 at her home. Services to celebrate her life will be held at 4:00 P.M. Wednesday afternoon, January 29, 2020 at Oasis Church at Hephzibah with Bishop Wesley Weatherford officiating. The family will receive friends at the church from 3:00 – 4:00 P.M. prior to the services.
The only daughter of six born to the late Joyce Jean Johnville Freeman and the late Raymond Lyle Freeman, Wanda was a native of Batavia NY where she lived until she was 12 years old when her family moved to Augusta for work opportunities. After graduating from Glenn Hills High School, she joined the National Guard but had to get an honorable discharge shortly after in order to marry the love of her life. She waitressed until their children started arriving and was a stay-at-home mom until 1988 when the youngest started school. Wanda began her career in school food service, working for the Richmond County School System for 15 years, and then for the Burke County School System. After 31 years of service, she was forced to retire because of her failing health in May, 2019. Up until this point, Wanda was very active—she loved to cook, especially for her family, to sew, and embroidery. She and Larry loved to travel: they visited friends in Colorado, drove through the mid-western states and the New England states. Her greatest pleasure…and treasure…was spending time with her family, especially the grandchildren who stole her heart. Her collection of dragonflies, which symbolizes spiritual transformation and renewal, reminded Wanda daily of her own spiritual transformation and the continual renewing of her spirit. Her first love was for her Lord and Savior, Jesus, serving Him at Oasis Church at Hepzibah, using her natural and spiritual gifts to worship Him by singing in the choir and the praise team, as well as leading children’s church, and teaching Sunday School for 20 years. Because of His grace and mercy, she had a deep, abiding love for people and shared Him and His free gift of salvation with others. Wanda was recently awarded the Judith Rushing Servant’s Heart Award for exemplifying a lifestyle of service, love and dedication to God and others. As she entered the gates of Heaven, she was welcomed with a “Well done, thou good and faithful servant; enter into the joy of Thy Lord.”
Wanda was also preceded in death by her brothers, Ricky Freeman, Daniel Freeman and Steven Freeman; daughter-in-law, Amy Watkins; and son-in-law, James Tres Pack. Other survivors include her children, Gene Watkins (Katie), Tara Pack and Jonathan Watkins (Heather); two brothers, Timothy Freeman and John Calderella; six grandchildren, Carter Watkins, Georgia Watkins, Treyton Pack, Dylan Pack, Bryntson Watkins and Avonlea Watkins; her beloved in-laws, Glen and Pam Thompson, Cassidy Thompson, Paxton and Claudia Thompson, and Harper Thompson; nieces, nephews, church family and many friends.
The family respectfully requests that in lieu of flowers memorials be made to Emory Eye Center, 1365-B Clifton Road NE, Atlanta GA 30322 or to Helping Hands Hospice, 3642 Wheeler Road, Augusta GA 30909.
Heartfelt thanks are expressed to the staff of Helping Hands Hospice for their loving, compassionate and professional care.