May 6, 1947 – December 24, 2019
It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Mr. David Harold Watkins.
Dave passed away peacefully at Nanaimo General Hospital on the morning of December 24, 2019. He was 72 years old, and had fought a long, brave battle with cancer. Our heartfelt thanks goes out to the physicians and staff at Nanaimo General for all of their care.
Born on May 6, 1947, Dave spent his formative years in the interior of British Columbia, largely at Christina Lake. He is pre-deceased by his parents, Harold and Doreen Watkins, whom long-time lakers might remember from the Town ‘n’ Country Store. As a young man he met and married Sylvia Watkins (nee DeRosa) from Trail and they raised four children together: Len (Barb) Watkins, Vanessa (Grady) Mathieson, Nathan Watkins and Angela Watkins. He is also survived by his two sisters: Theresa (Alan) Shaw and Janet Boothman and his two aunts: Doreen Murphy and Phyllis Donnelly. Dave will forever be missed by a wide extended family of grand-children, great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews and cousins both in Canada and England. Also mourning him are his dearest friends, Barb Best, Jack Brown and his sweetheart, constant companion and devoted partner, Sandy Milton.
Perhaps Dave’s greatest source of joy and accomplishment was the mountain of love and support that he gave to his family and friends. A close second would be running his Ford dealership, Monterey Motors, in Grand Forks. Sales and vehicles were in Dave’s heart and soul and he was so very proud to serve his community from behind the wheel, right up until the end of his life.
In 1984, Dave moved with his family to Nanoose Bay. It is here that Dave found his new favourite pastime: long, daily drives along the winding roads of Vancouver Island. Dave and Sylvia opened up a small restaurant in Nanaimo’s Rutherford Mall called the MMM Sandwich Bar and ran it successfully for over 15 years. He was famous for his delicious soups. Dave also kept a hand in the car sales industry. Ever the consummate salesman, he was well-known around town for his automotive expertise and his high standards of customer service.
Later, as a taxi driver, David had a habit of taking taking people in need under his wing and into his heart. He was an incredibly loving and generous man with a gently wicked and off-beat sense of humour. Dave remained on Vancouver Island for the rest of his life, and planned never to leave.
Dave’s cousin, Craig Murphy, shares this musing that helps us imagine Dave in heaven:
“I picture him around the corner from the Pearly Gates. He is probably finishing off a smoke and he would tuck his crisp white shirt into his dark dress pants. Then he’d slick back his headful of dark hair and approaching St. Peter, he would introduce himself as God’s new driver.”
We would also like to believe that Dave is with his uncle Trevor, whom he said felt more like a brother, but who died tragically in a plane crash when they were both still young fathers. We imagine them joyfully making up for much lost time.
His life partner, friends, family and friends who became family, will never forget David. May his soul rest in eternal peace.
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