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Allen ‘Wayne’ Watkins

Wayne Watkins, born Nov. 22, 1948, conceded his final battle with cancer and took his place among the great cloud of witnesses on July 29 at 10:30 a.m.

Wayne graduated from Meadowbrook High School in 1967, where he loved playing football, basketball and baseball. He enjoyed his monthly breakfasts with “Coach” and his friends up until the end of his life.

Some of Wayne’s greatest memories were on the ball field. From summer nights spent pitching with his friends at Rockwood Park, to coaching his girl’s teams through championship victories, to watching his boys excel and become the kind of athlete that he prided himself on, his home was in the red clay of his childhood.

His other favorite times were spent playing tennis with friends at Briarwood (now ACAC). Once told, “you’re not good enough to play with me,” Wayne made it his mission to not only learn, but master, the game of tennis. He competed in several National Tournaments around the country as well as travelling around the state of Virginia to play on his home courts. Wayne was a champion and friend to many on the courts.

Wayne worked at Brooks Transfer for many years as he grew in wisdom and maturity beside his friends. He answered the call to ministry and became Regional Director for Prison Fellowship, where he saw many come to the Lord. Countless lives were transformed through his mentorship. His time there led to him becoming the Pastor of Restoration Outreach Church, where he found his life’s mission- ministering to and helping to heal wounded hearts. For nearly 20 years, his focus has been helping people find healing, hope and the truth that only Jesus Christ can bring.

It has often been said that a person could feel Wayne enter the room before they saw him. He was known as a strong man and a man who tenderly loved “his girls” and those around him. While he was a force to be reckoned with, his greatest strength was the Holy Spirit and Jesus, his greatest friend. A man who rarely cried most his life, he became “squishy” when he recalled the love of Father God and how his life was forever changed. The presence that was felt was not that of Wayne, but the God he loved going before him.

Wayne is survived by his wife of 50 years, Joyce Watkins; his daughters, Katie Watkins and Kelly Lester and his grandchildren, Brycen Newby, Rocco Raynor, Penelope Raynor, Josephine Raynor, Francesca Raynor, Malachi Lester, Jael Lester, Hosanna Lester, Judah Grace Lester, Lucille Lester and River Lester. What a Legacy!! He is also survived by his sister, Debbie Marchese; brother, Dale Watkins and their children, Vito Marchese, Steffanie Marchese Stratton, Liza Watkins and Thomas Watkins. He will be welcomed home by his mother and father Allen and Virginia Watkins, who have preceded him in death.

Friends and Family will be received Friday, Aug. 6, from 5-8 p.m., at Restoration Outreach Church, 13138 S. James Madison Hwy, Dillwyn, VA 23936. A celebration of life service will be held Saturday Aug. 14, at 3 p.m., at Christ Family Outreach Church, 12300 Five Forks Rd. Amelia, VA 23002. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Christian Outreach (COPPC) PO Box 262 New Canton, VA 23123.