Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Steve W. Watkins

Steve W. Watkins, age 70 years, a resident of rural Grantsburg, passed away unexpectedly Thursday morning, November 12, 2020, at his home.

Steve was born January 27, 1950 at the family home in Stonefort, Illinois.  He was the son of Wayne E. and Opal S. (Choate) Watkins.

On August 20, 1982, Steve was united in marriage to Dianne L. Chapman in Vienna, Illinois.  She survives.

Other survivors include:  4 children – Marshall Watkins of Harrisburg, Kenny (LeeAnn) Swisher, Jr. of Paducah, Kentucky, Rachel (Billy) Thomas of Grantsburg, and Melissa (Jason) Hall of Roachdale, Indiana; 10 grandchildren – Will Thomas, Austin Swisher, Tori (Bryan) Bert, Michael Watkins, J.J. Hall, Libby Thomas, Bryce Hall, Ashlyn Hall, Easton Watkins and Zach Brazzell; 2 sisters-in-law – Kathy Watkins and Theresa Bradley; as well as a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

In addition to his parents, Steve was preceded in death by: a brother – Stanley Watkins; his father-in-law & mother-in-law – Dannie and Audrey Chapman; and a brother-in-law – Danny Chapman, Jr.

Steve was a 1969 graduate of Carrier Mills High School.  He had been employed as a miner at the Will Scarlet coal mine.  He had also worked in the construction trade.  Steve was the CEO of Hillview Health Care Center in Vienna.  Additionally, he was the administrator of the former Freedom Outreach School.

Steve was a Christian pastor for over 40 years.  He was well versed in the Bible and an amazing pastor and Christian teacher.  Steve currently served as the pastor of Freedom Outreach Ministries, near Vienna.

Steve was an avid outdoorsman.  He enjoyed deer hunting and had a passion for farming.

Funeral services will be held Sunday afternoon, November 15, 2020, at 1:30 PM at Freedom Outreach Ministries, 5515 State Route 146 East, Vienna, Illinois.  Pastor Tyler Owens, assisted by Pastor Billy Thomas and Pastor Ronnie Rixie will officiate.  Burial will be in the Zion Cemetery, east of Ozark.

Visitation will be conducted Sunday afternoon, November 15, 2020, from 12 Noon – 1:30 PM at Freedom Outreach Ministries.

Memorials may be made to the Hillview Health Care Center (Activities Fund), 512 North 11th St., Vienna, Illinois 62995, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, Tennessee 38105-1905, Samaritan’s Purse, P.O. Box 3000, Boone, North Carolina 28607, or to Hope Unlimited, 305 Lincoln St., Metropolis, Illinois 62960.

To share a memory of Steve or to leave an online message of condolence for his family, please visit

Those attending the visitation and service are reminded to observe customarily accepted social distancing guidelines.  The wearing of a face mask or covering is strongly encouraged.

Arrangements have been entrusted to Bailey Funeral Home in Vienna.

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