Marida June Ray Watlington was born on May 30, 1932 in Hamby, Texas, outside of Abilene to Floyd and Robbie Ray. She passed on to her heavenly reward on June 4, 2021 at Christian Care Center in Mesquite, Texas at the age of 89. Survivors who loved her dearly include her loving husband of 68 years, Robert H. (Bob) Watlington, a son, David, and his wife Sherry, and a daughter, Lori, and her husband, West Soward, 4 grandsons and their wives, 5 great grandchildren with 1 on the way, 3 nephews and 1 niece.
Marida was preceded in death by her parents and a sister, Marshallene Ray Read.
Marida graduated from Abilene High School in 1948 at the age of 16. She went on to graduate from Abilene Christian University in 1952 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Secretarial Training. At Abilene High, she was selected as FFA Sweetheart and at ACU, she was selected as Aggie Club Sweetheart.
Marida and Bob were married on September 5, 1952 in Abilene and honored her country by being a proud Navy wife during the Korean conflict.
Marida worked in several secretarial positions in her professional career, with the primary one serving as Bob’s personal secretary during his successful Life Insurance Sales career for over 50 years. During their school years, Marida was also a full-time mother to her 2 children – David and Lori.
Marida was a godly woman of faith who loved the Lord with all her heart. Her favorite scripture was Matthew 11:28, which says, “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest.”
Marida was a long time member of the 37th Street Church of Christ in Snyder, Texas where she humbly served as a children’s Bible Class teacher, a World Bible School teacher and an elder’s wife for many years. After she and Bob moved to Mesquite, Texas in 2003 to be closer to their children, they became faithful members of the Meadowview Church of Christ. Marida always had a love for missions.
Marida enjoyed sewing, researching genealogy, cooking, preparing dishes for church pot luck dinners, being an active member, and travelling with PrimeTimers group at Meadowview. In previous years, she enjoyed travelling extensively to many beautiful destinations for the annual convention of the National Farm Life Insurance Company, Bob’s primary company. On several of those occasions Marida served as Queen of the Convention and Bob served as King after leading the entire company in sales that year.
A Celebration of Life Service will be held at the Meadowview Church of Christ and internment will be at the DFW National Military Cemetery in Grand Prairie.
In lieu of flowers, please consider making a charitable donation to Foster’s Home for Children in Stephenville, Texas - www.fostershome.org
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