Recent Passing of Emeritus Watkins

Author: Office of Alumni Engagement

Published Date: 2/9/2024

Categories: Alumni Faculty and Staff

Dr. Richard J. Watkins '65

Dr. Richard J. Watkins '65 

June 12, 1941 - January 22, 2024

Professor emeritus of chemistry (1976-2000)

Dr. Richard J. Watkins '65, professor emeritus of chemistry, died at AngelsGrace Hospice in Oconomowoc on Monday, January 22, 2024, at the age of 82. He was preceded in death by his wife, Roberta (Illingworth) Watkins '65, and his daughter, Dr. Laura (Gregg) Bubolz. He was the proud Pop of Hailey, Mackenzie, Taylor, and the late Alexandra. He is further survived by other family and friends.

Personally, and professionally, Carroll played an integral role in the life of Dick. He was a 1965 graduate of Carroll majoring in chemistry. He was active in a multitude of activities and organizations, including the independent men’s club, orientation and homecoming committees, “C” club, dorm counselor, Kappa Delta Pi, and member of the men’s basketball and tennis teams. Watkins also met and was married on Carroll’s campus to his late wife, Roberta. After graduating from Carroll, Dick was awarded a PhD in Chemistry from Indiana University in 1969. He taught 31 years as a Chemistry Professor, 7 at Cornell College in Iowa and 24 at Carroll University, nurturing and developing young scientific minds. Watkins was known as the guru of organic chemistry, teaching the full-year sequence of Organic I and II, Advanced Organic, and Instrumentation. He loved working with 18-25 year old students because so many important changes were occurring in their lives during those years.

Dick loved the outdoors and spent time gardening, fishing, and wilderness canoeing. In retirement, Dick was an avid bridge and poker player, sang with the LIR Chorus, and was a regular with the Book Group and the “Old Farts” coffee group.

A Celebration of Life service will be held on the Carroll University at the Humphrey Memorial Chapel, 238 N. East Avenue, Waukesha on Wednesday, April 10th at 4:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions to the Richard J. Watkins Endowed Scholarship in Chemistry Fund at Carroll University would be appreciated.

Dr. Watkins shaped the lives of many Carroll students. The Carroll community extends condolences to his family, friends, and alumni who loved him and were impacted by him.
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