Raefield D. Watkins



ELDER RAEFIELD DEARNOLD WATKINS was born on Monday, September 15, 1952, to Emanuel and Johnnie Frances (Hamm) Watkins in Beards Fork, West Virginia. Rae was the second youngest of six children. He was raised in the coal fields of Page, West Virginia. He was the product of Fayette County Public Schools and graduated from Montgomery High School in 1970. Rae received a Bachelor’s of Science degree from West Virginia Institute of Technology, Montgomery, West Virginia, and a Master’s degree in Safety Education from Marshall University, Huntington, West Virginia. He was an avid Marshall Thundering Herd fan.

Rae married Linda D (Walton) Watkins on July 3, 1976; and they relocated to Columbus, Ohio in 1979, where Rae retired from Stanley Electric US (London, Ohio) as a Safety Manager.

Rae enjoyed life with his family and friends, and he never forgot his hometown. If you were from any surrounding area of Page; and Rae knew your whereabouts in Columbus, he maintained contact with you.

Rae was a wonderful husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle, cousin and friend. Through thick or thin, no matter what, he was always there. Rae sacrificed so much so that his family could have a better life. He always gave hope, strength, unconditional love and support to all. Rae was the one that everyone loved and admired.

On Easter Sunday, March 31, 2024, the angels gathered around his bedside at Kobacker House and began to beckon him into Heaven’s gate – and so he went home to be with the Lord. Rae never doubted his salvation and knew in whom he believed.

Rae was a member of Higher Ground Always Abounding Assemblies, and served his Pastor and Uncle, Bishop Sherman Watkins, faithfully until his death. Rae was a member of the Ministerial Alliance (Ordained Elder), Usher Board and Safety Committee. He was not one to seek attention or the limelight but worked quietly behind the scenes getting things done in the church. Rae fought a good fight, and he won the race. He is in the presence of the Lord with more love than can be imagined.

Rae is preceded in death by his parents; his paternal and maternal grandparents, son, Aaron Watkins and granddaughter, Domanique Watkins.

Left to forever cherish every moment that the Lord blessed us with Rae’s presence are his devoted wife, Linda D Watkins; children, Dedra Watkins, Esq. Hyattsville, Maryland, Timothy (Brandie) Walton, Groveport, Ohio, Brandi Watkins, Columbus, Ohio, Raefield Watkins II, Atlanta, Georgia, Jasmyne Watkins, Columbus, Ohio; siblings, Priscilla (Bobby) Williams, Mt Carbon, West Virginia, Gloria Peak, Page, West Virginia, Mary (Bishop Howard) Franklin, Decatur, Georgia, John Larry (Kelly) Watkins, Hershey, Pennsylvania, Michael Leroy Watkins, Page, West Virginia, Dr. Sharon (Glenn) Watkins, Morgantown, West Virginia, Ashley Watkins, Morgantown, West Virginia; grandchildren, Eva, Bella, Gabe, Domanique, August, Landyn, Aubrey, Xavian, Dalani, Halo, TaChia (Shy); Uncle, Bishop Sherman Watkins, Columbus, Ohio; Aunts, Freda (Dr. Emmitt) Patterson, Page, West Virginia, Kathryn Coles, Page, West Virginia, and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends, including special nephew, Michael Harrison; special cousin, Greg Watkins, and the Higher Ground Church Family.

“We definitely were not ready for Rae to leave us here in body but we know that his spirit will always be with us. We will find comfort in knowing that he is not suffering anymore and that WE WILL SEE HIM AGAIN…… We shall never forget Rae; for he will always live on in our hearts.”

Visitation 11:00am and Funeral 12:00pm Friday, April 12, 2024 at Higher Ground Always Abounding Assemblies, 870 St Clair Ave.

Condolence Messages

  1. Tammy Watkins

    In my life I’ve encountered some difficult situations from the birth of my first born, brain tumor surgery, and the loss of my son. You were always front and center doing what you do best. You gave that special love and care that could only come from you. Ray I will forever be grateful. I love you, Sammy.(What you called me) To my aunt Linda you were a special lady to a special guy to the end. I love you. Dedra, Tim, Brandi, and Ray LUV YA♥️

  2. So sorry to hear about his transition. Certainly will be praying for the entire family during this difficult time.

  3. Watkins family,
    Rae and my dad Mark met at Stanley Electric and had been friends since I was a kid. I always remember Rae coming to our big Buckeye vs Michigan parties and bringing his famous lasagna! Even as kid I remember seeing Rae at family events and partys and feeling so comfortable around him. He was so sweet and easy to talk to. I also remember how excited my dad was to go see Rae when he first started preaching! He was very honored to be there. Our family was also beyond honored when my dad passed and Rae was able to lead his funeral. That is something I will never forget. Rae was a great friend to my father, and also our whole family. What an amazing, Godly man.
    Prayers and healing to the whole family.
    Much love,
    Kelsey Cowan

    • My dad cherished the friendship with Mark and your family. You all will always remain very special to us.

      Dedra Watkins

  4. Elders Chris and Valerie Washington

    To Linda and Family, you have our deepest Condolence. We pray for your heart, spirit and soul the comforting Power of God’s Precious Holy Spirit for the days and months to come ️

  5. Dorethea Ingram (Tulu)

    Linda you and family have my deepest sympathy, please know I am and will continue to pray for your strength. I’m so glad God gave us a chance to supp with another

  6. Rev. Dr. Carolyn Bailey Lewis

    Dear Linda,
    You and your family are in my prayers. May the love of God surround, comfort, and give you peace.
    With Sisterly Love,
    Your WVU Line Sister, ‘71

  7. M. Janette Patterson

    My sincere condolences goes out to my dear friend Linda and Rae’s family. I know how special and loved Rae was to his family and friends. Rae was special to me and my family as well and he will be missed. Anything I asked if Rae he was there. Our family enjoyed our conversations, our fellowship and our friendship with Rae and Linda. Linda we loved Rae and love you and will always be here for you. You only have to ask. You are in our prayers and ask God to continue to watch over you and your family and bless you abundantly. Love you, Janette, John, Dani, Zach, and Chanse

  8. Tamara Watkins

    Uncle Rae was one of a kind. He said he been there with me since the beginning and I thank God I was able to love and spend those precious moments at the end with him too. Uncle Rae kept every promise you ever made to me and I’m forever grateful. Thank you for not only being my daddy’s best friend, brother and cousin, but also being the best uncle, and dad you could be to all of us. I love you so much. And I’ll forever miss you. Love Buff

  9. To look around and not see you will be difficult but knowing you are in the presence of the Lord gives me comfort you will always be special to me and everyone you came in contact with rest easy my brother and we will see you on the other side Deacon Terry McKnight

  10. Walkins Family,
    My deepest sympathy for your loss.
    I worked with Ray at Stanley Electric.
    I’m glad I got to know such a wonderful person whom I talked to daily. Always a smile on his face. Dedicated to his job but as I watched his Beautiful tribute he was devoted to his family.
    God Bless
    Vickie (Wright) Dingess

  11. Regina McKnight Gilbert

    To Ray’s Family
    When loneliness visits during the dark nights, or long quite days, and you begin to reflect and feel the absence of your (our) beloved Ray; remember his beautiful countenance, warm smile and kind spirit. A picture and memory of him that will never fade. Our Father in heaven has stepped in to provide comfort to Ray and He will fulfill His promise of never to leave you (us) alone. I pray that your faith strengthens and sustains you through this difficult period and, also, abide in you forever and always. My most sincere condolences. My heart goes out to you. You all are in my prayers. See you Ray in Glory. Cousin Regina.

  12. Family, I’m so sorry about my cousin Ray. You are in my thoughts and prayers. I can remember in all of my growing up he was there. He and my Mom Jane-Ellen were very close as cousins and before he moved to Columbus his visits always included our house. I was always the first of my siblings to be in the car for any visits to West Virginia and we would see Aunt Francis, Uncle Emanuel, Ray, Michael-Leroy, Priscilla, Bonnie, Gloria (my Mom called her “Glo”), and just visit with family. I cherish the closeness they had and I would take nothing for having experienced that family dynamic and love amongst them. Ray was a good man who loved his family and I’m happy to say I’m a part of that. Fly high cousin, we’ll see you again. Praying for you all family. ❤️❤️


    Praying for the family ,
    I didn’t really know him but I remember him and
    He was very kind and very very respectful and compassionate you have my condolences GOD bless the family higher ground family, GOD bless the Watkins family. In Christ Jesus name
    The King’s the higher ground, Johnny Two

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