Ena Watkins, age 97, of O Fallon, Missouri passed away on Wednesday, March 25, 2020 in O'Fallon, Missouri. She was born in Huntsville, Alabama on July 2, 1922 to David Lee and Minnie Caroline Pendergraft (nee Gold).
Ena worked outside the home for over 20 years. She was an expert seamstress and homemaker. She enjoyed having friends and family visit. Ena was active in the First Baptist Church of Paris, Tennessee. She attended Tennessee School for the Deaf where she met Quince Watkins. She selflessly taught American Sign Language to many members at the church. Because of her willingness to teach, a deaf ministry was established at First Baptist, providing learning and social situations for the deaf in West Tennessee. Ena's interpreter, Emily Cox, went on to teach ASL at the University of Tennessee, Martin branch. Ena was a member of the former, Bethany Deaf Church in Kirkwood, Missouri.
Ena is survived by her daughter, June E (Rick) Venghaus; her grandsons, Eric Venghaus, and Damon Venghaus; her great-grandchildren, Quince Venghaus, Gretchen Venghaus, and August Venghaus, her brother, Earl (Connie) Pendergraft, and her sister-in-law, Lou Pendergraft. She will be dearly missed by many other family members and friends.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Quince Oliver Watkins; parents, David (Minnie) Pendergraft; her sisters, Veda Goad, Kressie (Fennis) Rigsby, Edna (Herbert) Waller, Pauline Irvin, Iva (Fred) Pangle; and a brother, Terril Pendergraft.
Arrangements are being handled by Ridgeway Funeral Home, 201 Dunlap Street, P.O. Box 788, Paris, TN 38242. The body is to be cremated. Memorial visitation will be Tuesday, June 30, 2020, from 10:00 am – 11:00 am at Ridgeway Funeral Home. The memorial service will be Tuesday, June 30, 2020, at 11:00 am at LeDon Chapel of Ridgeway Funeral Home, with John Dale officiating.
Burial of cremains will follow in Memorial Cemetery in Paris, TN.
Memorial contributions may be made out in Ena's name to First Baptist Church, 313 N Poplar St, Paris, TN 38242; or Paraquad Inc, 5240 Oakland Ave, St. Louis, MO 63110.
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