Sharon Kay Watkins was born on December 10, 1954 at Pemiscot Memorial Hospital in Hayti, MO to P.A. Watkins, Jr. and Joy Womble Watkins. She passed away from this life peacefully at her home in Hayti on November 20, 2023.
Sharon and her two younger brothers, Michael and Roger, grew up in the family’s idyllic farm in a rural area outside of Wardell, MO.
After graduating from Caruthersville High School in 1972, Sharon attended Arkansas State University, before transitioning to her career as an insurance broker at Mid-Continent Aircraft Corporation in 1981. She hit the ground running, earning her agent’s license, then broker’s license, all the while representing Mid-Continent at various state and national association conventions, and even abroad in the United Kingdom. Taking the reins of the Insurance Division in 1992 and later becoming a corporate officer, Sharon’s reputation for devotion to her customers and her job remains well-respected throughout the aviation industry to this day.
Whether guiding a fledgling operation through its growing pains, delivering welcomed news of a really good quote, or calming an anxious insured with a worrisome claim, it was Sharon’s instinct to go above and beyond; to make extraordinary tasks seem ordinary. For this and more, it is no wonder why she was named one of Pemiscot County’s Outstanding Women in Business.
As a reliable colleague, mentor, and friend to those who worked with her, Sharon was a chief encourager who nurtured ambitions and championed accomplishments of others. It is that legacy of selflessness that continues to inspire her former co-workers.
Finally enjoying the fruits of her labors, Sharon entered into retirement in 2022. She spent time decorating and refinishing her home, collecting antiques, and spending time with friends.
Sharon embraced her faith as a member of the Temple Baptist Church in Caruthersville beginning in the late 1960s and then more recently as a member of the Hayti First Baptist Church.
Sharon was preceded in death by her parents and brother Michael. Those left to celebrate her memory include brother and sister-in-law Roger and Donna Watkins, aunt and uncle Lee and Geraldine Watkins, aunt and uncle Dan and Brenda Westbrook, aunt and uncle Norris and Delores Watkins, aunt Patsy Sadler, a host of cousins and nieces and nephews, including Sarah Watkins, best friend Genia Taylor, The Turnage Family, and the entire Mid-Continent family.
Funeral services were held November 22, 2023 at the Hayti First Baptist Church with Brother Mark Hoover officiating. Pallbearers include Chris Cobb, Kevin Curtis, James Forbus, Stan Hunter, Josh Rittenberry, and Tyler Watkins.