Carolyn Frances Watkins was born on November 13, 1941 to Earl and Frances Watkins in St. Louis, Missouri. During her childhood she lived in Clinton, Missouri then moved to Smithton, Missouri where she graduated high school in 1959. After graduation, Carolyn attended Central Missouri Teachers College (now UCM). She passed away Friday May 15, 2020 at Bothwell Regional Medical Center. Carolyn is preceded in death by her parents, brother John Watkins, late husband Jack Birdsong, great granddaughter Mya Gerken and Inky aka “Dolly Dog”.
Carolyn and children were active in the Sedalia community. She served on the Sedalia Parks Board, active in the AAU Track Club and Bowling League, Past President of the Sedalia Elk Ladies Club, Bridge player, volunteer, and a devoted member of the First United Methodist Church. In her early career Carolyn worked for the Lamm, Barnett, Crawford, Barnes, and Fritz firm then for Vocational Rehabilitation where she met (through mutual friends) and married Chester Spradling. Carolyn moved with Chester to Rolla, Missouri and worked for Phelps County as a deputy clerk. After a while, Chester finally gave in and moved back to Sedalia so she could be closer to her family. Back home, she worked until retirement as a deputy clerk for the Pettis County Circuit Court. After retirement, they moved to Branson for seven years until Chester finally gave in again and moved her back home to Sedalia.
Carolyn loved being “Mema”. Mema was very creative, an avid reader, drove convertibles, and loved 50’s music. If it could be painted, she painted it! If it was soft, she bought it! She was a very supportive and attentive grandmother and great grandmother, attending events, hosting birthday dinners, playing pranks and always ready to shop or decorate. All of this on top of being a 25-year breast cancer survivor.
Carolyn leaves behind her husband, Chester of 32 years; children Jeff (Mary Ann) Birdsong of Georgetown, KY, Lorrie (Steve) Keenum of Houstonia, Amy (Wes) Dunkin of Sedalia, Jennie (Chris) Rodewald of Sedalia; her beloved grandchildren Lindsay (Abe) Rafat, Laura, and Landon Birdsong; Blaire (Jay) Birdsong Johnson, Jackie (Dennis) Gerken, and Haley Lee; Alicia (Bryce) Johnson and Alix (Tyler) Norton; and Sarah, Joseph, and Hannah Rodewald; great-grandchildren Neeli Johnson, Makai, Malise, and Maizah Lee; sister-in-law Diane Watkins, nephew Matt (Kate) Watkins and great-niece Grace Watkins.
Due to current restrictions, the family is having private graveside service on Saturday May 23, 2020. Flowers will be accepted on behalf of the family by Memorial Park Cemetery. Memorial contributions are suggested to the First United Methodist Church or the Sedalia Community Center fund in care of Heckart Funeral Home.