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West Plains, MO Location (417) 256-4141

Thayer, MO Location (417) 264-7242


  Bernadette Watkins was born March 22, 1939, in Linton, North Dakota. She was the 16th child of Anton and Rosina (Mosseth) Roehrich. On February 26, 1971, she eloped in Ash Flat, Arkansas with the love of her life, Harley Watkins. On September 10, 2022, after 10 years of bravely facing the struggles of Parkinson’s Disease, she went to be with her Lord and Savior in Heaven.

   Her education included elementary education – St. Anthony’s School in Linton; high school at St. Agnes Academy in Kenmare, ND; BA degree from Fontbonne College, St. Louis, MO; MEd from St. Louis University, St. Louis, MO.  Her career included teaching in the greater St. Louis Area for five years; working for the University of Missouri Extension in the HOST area (Howell, Oregon, Shannon, and Texas Counties) as a Family Relations and Child Development Specialist for 2 years; teaching at Koshkonong School for 3 years and Alton Elementary School for 22 years; and serving as Librarian with the Oregon County Libraries – Thomasville Branch for 12 ½ years.

  In her spare time and after retirement she enjoyed being with her grandchildren. She loved life, being around family, friends and volunteered at area nursing homes. She helped with activities and spent time visiting with the residents, until she was no longer able to do so. She was a member of the Shilo Baptist Church, Rover, Missouri. She loved Vacation Bible School and the Ladies afternoon Bible Study. When she moved to Cedarhurst she loved participating in activities with her fellow resident family, including bible study, bingo, crafts, and outings. She tried to attend everything. She loved people and was always worried about others, wanting them to feel welcome and enjoy themselves as she did.

  She is survived by her daughter, Jolene Howell, husband Stacy, Thomasville, MO; her grandchildren, Brady Howell and Harly Howell; Her sisters Isabell (Matt) Klein, Minot, ND; Rosina Eymann, Kenmare, ND; Sister Eva Roehrich, Dayton, OH; Sister in laws, Cecilia Roehrich, Bismarck, ND; Alvina Roehrich, Bismarck, ND; Bonnie Myers, Braidwood, IL; Brother in law, Frank Pitcock, West Plains, MO and a slew of nieces and nephews.

  Her parents, her husband of 49 years, Harley; 9 brothers, Matthias, Anton, Lawrence, Sebastian, Joseph, Michael, Matthew, Nick, and Leopold; 3 sisters, Regina, Marieanna, and Clara, preceded her in death.

  In lieu of flowers contributions may be made to St. Judes.

Funeral services for Bernadette Watkins, 83 of Alton Missouri, will be Tuesday, September 13, at 10:00 a.m. at Carter Funeral Home. Visitation will be Tuesday September 13, at 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. at Carter Funeral Home Chapel in West Plains, Missouri.

Interment will be at Huddleston Cemetery Alton, Missouri under the direction of Carter Funeral Home, Inc.




  1. Rita Klein Cooper
    September 13, 2022 @ 9:14 pm

    Thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. I know mom (Issy) wanted to be there so badly, but traveling for her is tough.
    With deepest sympathy,
    Rita Cooper

  2. David / Geri Elliott
    September 13, 2022 @ 9:23 pm

    Soo sorry for your loss Jolene. You had a beautiful Mother. We ask God for your comfort.

  3. Debbie McDaniel
    September 14, 2022 @ 6:17 pm

    I am so sorry for your loss. I didn’t know she passed until today. I loved Bernie and enjoyed the time I was blessed to spend with her and Harley. She was such a sweet, unique, kind, and beautiful lady.

  4. Kim Willard
    November 5, 2022 @ 8:16 pm

    Jolene I will always remember the wonderful times at your house and how welcome Bernie made me feel. She was a wonderful teacher to me, mentor to me and the kids, Christian, Mom, wife, and Grandmother. She is finally in the arms of your Daddy again and it is truly a time to rejoice. I know you’ll miss her, but you will see her again. Love you all!