Eleanor Elizabeth (Swalley) Watkins
January 21, 1935-August 29, 2020
Eleanor Watkins went home to be with Jesus, whom she loved so dearly, on August 29th. She was surrounded by her loving family as she peacefully left to join her husband and son in Paradise.
As family and friends have been telling us for days, they remember Mom as the kindest and most loving person they have ever known, and that she was always making them feel special and loved. She taught all her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, that faith in God, and being kind to, and loving others, was the most important thing anyone could ever do. It was an amazing legacy to pass on to us, her family, and we will be forever grateful for the unconditional love she showered upon us. She told us from the time we were children, to shortly before her passing, that we are family, and that family sticks together. She said we will not always agree with one another, but that we are always to love, and support each other. This has been an incredible blessing to all of us.
Eleanor was born in Pawnee, Oklahoma, and lived there for several years before moving to New Mexico, and then to Delta, Colorado. She graduated from Delta High School in 1952, and then went to Oklahoma to attend Oklahoma A&M (now Oklahoma State University). Her great passion during this time was baton twirling, and she was a majorette at both Delta H.S., and Oklahoma A&M. A special memory of hers was twirling in the Cotton Bowl. After two years at Oklahoma A&M, she moved to Boulder, Colorado, and got her degree in Elementary Education. She taught for 25 years, most of it in Sheridan School District. She absolutely loved teaching, and bestowed love upon all of her students, who now, in their 40’s 50’s and 60’s, continued to keep in contact with her, telling her how special she always made them feel.
After she retired, she nannied for a wonderful family. One of those children, now an adult, said this of Mom, “She loved us so much, and her care for the three of us really shaped our character and how we treat others. We loved her.”
Upon complete retirement, her passion was working with the homeless population at the Broadway Assistance Center, Jeffco Action Center, and Habitat for Humanity. She was deeply saddened when her health no longer allowed her to volunteer, and said that her greatest love, other than her family and God, was volunteering with and for those beautiful people.
Eleanor was affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, and taught Sunday school, and volunteered in a variety of ways, which she greatly enjoyed.
Eleanor was preceded in death by her loving husband, Richard Allen Watkins, son, Zachary Wayne Nylund, brother, Wayne Abbott Swalley, and sister-in-law, Ruth Ann Swalley. She is survived by daughters, Sally Cameron (Tom), Amy Dryer (Ron), sons, Jim Nylund, Matt Nylund, granddaughters, Bree Dulaney (Tom), Shay Jenkins, Megan Dryer, grandsons, Ben Nylund, Sam Nylund, Brandon Dryer, great-grandson, Brett Troxell, great granddaughters, Charlotte Dulaney, Mia Romero-Rael, nieces, Deb Swalley, Janes Giddings (Larry), and other extended family members.
Mom asked that if you are so moved, in lieu of flowers, please send donations to Bethesda Lutheran Communities, an organization that provides services for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. This is a place that is near to Mom’s heart, as her son, Zach, was an adult with developmental disabilities prior to his passing. She chose this as a gesture of love for Zach.
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