Marieann Martineau Watkins
Marieann Martineau Watkins passed away Nov. 21, 2013, at her home in Blanding, Utah, at the age of 74.
Marieann was born Feb. 10, 1939, in Colonia Chuichupa, Chihuahua, Mexico, to Bernard Joseph and Helen Hawkins Martineau. Marie was the third of their 11 children and the oldest daughter, so she learned to care for others early on, especially when a pressure cooker of juice blew a seal and scalded her mother. Marie took over as much of the household as she could while her mother struggled to regain use of her arms.
When the children began going to school, they moved to Colonia Juarez so they could attend Juarez Academy. She graduated from the Academy in 1958. She’d spent a year battling rheumatic fever, so she was a year behind her classmates.
After graduation, Marie came to the U.S. to live with her grandmother in Mesa, Ariz. She worked several years to earn money toward her mission. She was so excited to get her first paycheck that she bought a bar of chocolate, ate the entire thing and got sick. She hadn’t realized that baking chocolate needs a little help before it’s edible. This may be why her daughters all have chocolate chip stashes in their kitchens! She also went with a group to tour LDS history sites.
While preparing for her mission, she mentioned to girls in her Single Adult ward that she’d love to be a “pen pal” with a current or returned missionary, as she’d like to have some guidance as to what to expect on her mission. One girl, Bertha Watkins, mentioned that she had a brother, Richard, in Germany in the Army who had just returned from a mission to New England. Since he had no objection to writing to a cute blue-eyed blonde, Marie started writing to him, and with his encouragement served in the Spanish American Mission in Texas. When she returned home, Richard went to Mesa to meet her, and two weeks later, they were engaged.
Dick and Marie were married in the Mesa temple on Feb. 12, 1964, and Marie became a U.S. citizen on Feb. 16, 1976. She worked hard to achieve this goal, and was proud of her citizenship.
As a stay-at-home mother, she parented her children and “mothered” many others so their parents could work or attend school. As her children aged, she began working at the nursing home and ended as a paraprofessional in the Special Ed Preschool at Blanding Elementary, but she always welcomed people in her home. Her first question was usually, “Are you hungry?” followed by, “Let me fix you something to eat!”
She and Richard then fulfilled a goal of serving a mission together in Denver, where they spent 22 months microfilming documents in the Capitol. They had many adventures during this time, including Marie’s accidental participation in a rally to legalize marijuana. She had no idea why those nice people carrying signs were gathered around, and she was on her way to the bus stop, so she took a direct path. Richard prudently kept to the outside of the group while ensuring he wasn’t too far away.
After the couple returned home, they were called to serve in the Monticello Temple, which she thoroughly enjoyed.
Marie is survived by her husband, Richard; her children, Amy Kensley of Monument Valley, Utah; Lloyd (Janette) of LaVerkin, Utah; Harley (Amy) of Morgan, Utah; Lois Walker (Shane) of Snowflake, Ariz.; Jan Podris (Gary) of Spokane, Wash.; and Ivy Kropf (Jared) of Green River, Wyo.; and 24 grandchildren, brothers, sisters, nieces and nephews who will miss her very much.
The family is grateful for the support during this difficult time: to the Blanding EMS team, to Dr. Fisher and the Blue Mountain Hospital, to the Blanding Eighth ward, and especially to Danny Palmer. Thank you.