Ted was born in 1931 in Golden, British Columbia, the son of Joseph Edward Watkins (1903-1952) and Vera May (Wheeler) Watkins (1904-1998). Their family lived in (nearby) Brisco. They later lived in Stewart, Premier, Trail, and Kelowna, British Columbia. Since the family moved around a lot, Ted had a close relationship with his older sister, Phyllis (Watkins) Fulton (1928-2010). When he was a teenager, he joined the Air Cadets and learned to fly a small plane. Ted met his future wife, Frances Oatman in grade two in Stewart though their families lived in different towns in BC after that. They met up again in Kelowna, British Columbia where they graduated from Kelowna Secondary School in 1950. Fran and Ted married in Kelowna in 1954.
They moved to Vancouver, British Columbia in 1955 so Ted could attend Normal school to become a teacher. They decided to stay and bought a house in East Vancouver and had four children; Joanne Corris (Dave), Ross Watkins (Leora), Peggy Watkins (Ron), and Heather McLeod (Andrew). Their family enjoyed camping, BBQs, family celebrations and had many friends in their neighborhood and beyond.
Ted was a 67-year member of the Masonic Order in Keystone Lions Gate Lodge and an active 65- year member of the Order of Eastern Star, Ypres Chapter #48. Ted and Fran were active parents in Job's Daughters and DeMolay. Ted enjoyed painting, drawing, screen printing, and sailing. The BBQ and fire pit in their backyard were a popular party spot and they enjoyed entertaining friends and family. Ted enjoyed travelling and made four trips to Britain and enjoyed visiting with the “Welsh cousins”.
Ted began teaching in 1956. He taught at Strathcona Elementary school and then Templeton Secondary school (1962-1888). He enjoyed introducing his students to art, drawing, painting, ceramics, screen printing, and more. He helped design and build theatre sets. He coached volleyball and was a trainer for the school football team. He retired from teaching in 1988. In retirement, he enjoyed learning to use his home computer, creating digital art, writing a family history blog and telling stories and spending time with his grandchildren; Dylan, Jordan, Terran, Alison, Maggie and Sarah. After over 50 happy years of marriage, Ted lost his beloved wife and best friend, Fran in 2005.
Ted was a loving husband, patient father and grandfather, creative artist and well-loved teacher, a fun and generous friend and neighbour, a gifted storyteller, and a lover of bad jokes. He was a mentor and inspiration to many and made a huge impact on all those who knew him. He will be greatly missed.
Ted’s family wishes to thank the staff at Stanford Seniors Village in Parksville for everything they did for Dad.
To send flowers to Edward's family, please visit our floral store.