John “Jack” Watkins

February 28, 1927  - 
November 17, 2016

John “Jack” Watkins, 89, of Jessup, formerly of West Scranton, died Thursday at Geisinger Wyoming Valley.

He was predeceased by his first wife, Jean McNichols Watkins and his second wife Maryanne Ager Watkins. Born in Scranton, he was the son of the late Thomas

and Elizabeth Meyers Watkins. Educated at West Scranton High School.

Jack worked his whole life, starting as an ice cream scooper and delivery boy for Walsh’s Drug Store on Main Avenue in West Scranton. Jack was a proud Navy Veteran of WW II, serving on the Essex Class aircraft carrier USS Tarawa (CV40) and in the Navy Reserves. After military service, he started at Williams Bakery, loading trucks and then moved on to an over the road driver for Eisenbach-Rogers Trucking Co. He later drove for A&P and was a proud member of International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Local 229, where he served as a business agent and President, having been elected for multiple terms. Throughout his life and into his retirement, he was often thanked for helping negotiate fair working conditions and generous wages by the people he served. Jack was an enthusiastic baseball and football fan and rooted for the Yankees and Giants. A true patriot, Jack never missed a primary or general election since the day he first voted, casting an absentee ballot in his final election, during his illness. He was awarded the Governor’s Certificate for participating in over 60 years of consecutive elections. He also enjoyed collecting model classic model die cast cars which he displayed in his home. The love he had for his family was immeasurable and he enjoyed watching the accomplishments of his children and grandchildren throughout the years and was happy to have recently become a great-grandfather. He will live in our hearts forever.

Jack’s family would like to extend its deepest gratitude to the doctors, nurses and staff at Spirit of Mercy, Regional Hospital of Scranton, and the Heart Hospital at Geisinger for their kind and compassionate care.

He is survived by two daughters, Nancy Cangemi and husband Gary, Scranton, Laura Murray and

husband John, Dunellen, NJ, six grandchildren, Peter Cangemi and wife Lauren, Katherine

Cangemi, Becca Cangemi, Patrick Murray, Sara Murray, Emily Murray and twin great

grand-daughters, Madison Grace and Evelyn Jean Cangemi, along with his niece Diane Steele Crespo, whom he and Jean helped raise after the death of her parents. Maryanne’s children, Joanne Beracchini and husband Dean, Jessup, and their children, Kayla and Kyle, and Gene Ager and wife Mary, Springfield, VA, and their  children, Danielle, Emma and Brian. Also surviving are several nieces and nephews including former Hollywood film star and singer, Gloria Jean Schoonover.

He was also preceded in death by siblings, Eleanor Schoonover, Blate, Max, Joe and Tommy Watkins.

His funeral will be on Wednesday with services at 10 am in the Edward J. Chomko Funeral Home

& Cremation Services, 262 Railroad Avenue, West Scranton with the Rev. Fr. Stephen Krawontka officiating. Interment with Navy Honors will follow in Cathedral Cemetery.

Viewing for family and friends will be on Tuesday, 3 to 7 pm.

Burial Date: November 21, 2016

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