757.628.1000

Joe Johnson Watkins


Sunrise: June 1, 1941

Sunset: March 6, 2024

Joe Johnson Watkins, age 82, died March 6, 2024, peacefully in his home with his family by his side after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease.

Mr. Watkins is survived by his wife Ingeborg, daughter Diana (married to David Breslin) and 2 grandchildren Sophia and Sydney. He also leaves behind 3 siblings: Andrew Tate, Ricky Tate and Edna Waller. He is pre-deceased by loving family members including, Mr. Harold Tate (brother), Joyce Ann Watkins Swain (sister), Bill Tate (brother), Shirley Ann Cannon (sister), Joanna Wells (grandmother) and Eula Mae Smith (beloved great grandmother).

Joe was a veteran of the Vietnam War (1970) and a career military serviceman where he earned several medals, including the service medals, Vietnam campaign medal, Army service ribbon, Overseas service medal, Army service ribbon, National Defense Service Medal, Parachutist bade, Non-Commissioned Officer professional development ribbon, Meritorious service medal, German precinct badge and Army Commendation medal. 

He grew up in Fayetteville, Tennessee, the son of Joe Milton Watkins and Margaret (Johnson) Watkins along with 7 siblings Andrew, Ricky, Edna, Harold, Bill, Shirley Ann and Joyce Ann. As a child he grew up tending horses with his father.  After the death of his parents, he was raised by his great grandmother Eula Mae whom he loved very much. At age 21 he joined the military and served overseas tours in Germany and Okinawa Japan as well as in the US in Fort Campbell Kentucky and Fort Bragg, North Carolina. He was a distinguished member of the special forces for 17 years as a communications lead and paratrooper. His bravery was valued and lauded by his fellow team members. 

During his service in Germany, he met and married his wife, Inge in 1966 whom he loved dearly and journeyed through life with for 57 years. Joe retired from the military in 1989 and then took a position at the US Army Corps of Engineers in communications for more than a decade. The discipline and patriotism he learned in the Army never left him, as friends and family will attest. In 2003, he retired from the Corps of Engineers to enjoy time with his family and grandchildren and working outdoors in his home on the Lafayette River. He will be forever loved and dearly missed by his family and friends.

Viewing Sunday, March 17, 2024 2:00pm - 6:00pm Metropolitan Funeral Service 7246 Granby Street Norfolk, VA 23505 Service COME IN PERSON OR WATCH SERVICE LIVE ONLINE Monday, March 18, 2024 11:00am Metropolitan Funeral Service Granby Chapel Interment Forest Lawn Cemetery 8100 Granby Street Norfolk, VA 23505

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Condolences(3)

  1. reply
    Walter Weber says

    Joe, we will miss you. We loved your smile and good honest personality.
    We had some good times in VA Beach with you and Inge.
    You are always in our thoughts.
    RIP Walter and Elke

  2. reply
    Gleason and Regina Small in Maryland says

    With Deepest Sympathy. Our hearts and prayers are with the family.

  3. reply
    Tamieka Tate says

    Rest in peace uncle Joe 🙏🏼

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