Opal Mai (Hedge) Watkins, 97, former resident of McEwen, passed away Friday, November 20, 2020 at her residence, Providence Place in Mt. Juliet. Opal was born May 1, 1923 in Waverly, Tennessee to the late Hugh Dan Hedge and Mamie D. Reeves Hedge. She was a graduate of Waverly High School. She married Albert "Bud" Watkins after the war and they were married for 61 years. She was the owner of Opal's Fashion Shop in McEwen and loved her store and her customers. She had many dear friends in McEwen. She was a member of McEwen Methodist Church and active in the community.
She and Bud enjoyed touring with Margaret and Kenneth Shanks and others. They were often the life of the party on the coach. Quite the jokester, Opal had a gift of charming anyone she met. Her sweet smile, quick wit, and outgoing personality made an impression right away. She was unselfish, humble and always expressing her love and thanks. Once you met Opal, she touched your life. She loved children, all things Christmas, Elvis, shopping for others, and the Lady Vols. She was a good, kind Christian woman who loved her family dearly.
She was preceded in death by parents, husband, 3 brothers, Dee, R.P., and Buddy Hedge, 2 sisters, Betty Hunter and Margaret Stitt-(Best friend!)
She is survived by her children: Diane Shanks (Ron) of Mt. Juliet, Tennessee and Al Watkins (Joy) of Athens, Tennessee, Brother-in law: Bob Watkins (Louise) of Ooltewah, Tennessee,
Four grandchildren: Grant (Leah) Shanks, Lebanon, TN; Maigan (Hayes) Thompson, Nashville, TN; Allyson (Matthew) Frazier, Athens, TN; and Will (Chelsea) Watkins, Knoxville, TN,
Ten great-grandchildren: Ellie, Maggie, Mollie and Mary Grant Shanks, Macy and Mia Frazier, Charlotte Opal, Jack & Harry, and Beckett Thompson,
Three nieces: Teresa Watkins Oxford (Sten), Vickie Hedge Herman(Max), and a niece loved as a daughter, Lonnie Lee Stitt Kilgore (Darryl),
Two Nephews: Curte Carter Stitt (Esta) and Paul Hedge(Bonnie), and other great nieces and nephews.
A family graveside service will be held Sunday, November 22, 2020 at Richlawn Cemetery. Col. Darryl Kilgore will officiate.
Opal always said she wanted her flowers while she was living! In lieu of flowers, if a memorial to her is desired, please take flowers to an assisted living facility, nursing home, or a friend, in her honor.