Obituary: Kenneth Virgel Watters

Kenneth “Socky” Virgel Watters, 92, of Sturgeon Bay, died May 14, 2017 while at his daughter and son-in-law’s home in the Town of Nasewaupee.

He was born May 8, 1925 in the Town of Clay Banks, the son John “Jack” and Rosetta (Anderson) Watters. Ken attended Sawyer School. From 1940-1942, he sailed the Great Lakes while employed by the Gartland Steamship Company and the Interlake Steamship Company. Ken joined the United States Army in 1942 and served alongside his six brothers as a PFC until 1946. All of them returned home safely. After serving in WWII, he worked as a painter for Christy Corporation in Sturgeon Bay for 23 years. In 1969, Ken began working as the only painter at Marine Travelift in Sturgeon Bay and continued there for 20 years until his “retirement.” He was a self-employed painter in his later years.

Ken married Ruby Erna Dombrowsky on September 20, 1952 at St. Peters Ev. Lutheran Church in Sturgeon Bay. They were blessed with over 52 years of marriage. Ruby was called Home to the Lord on August 17, 2004.

Ken was a member of Salem Ev. Lutheran Church in the Town of Nasewaupee. He was also a member of American Legion Post 72 in Sturgeon Bay. Ken enjoyed fishing with his three sons everywhere, spending countless hours on the water making memories “trying to catch the big one.” He was the biggest fan of the Brewers and Packers, unless they were losing, then he’d shut the TV off and go outside. Ken was grateful to his daughter, Eileen, who continued to take such special care of him with the passing of Ruby. His grandchildren and great-children were the light of his life.

Ken will be missed by his family whom he loved very much: daughter and three sons, Eileen (Russell) Lenius of the Town of Nasewaupee; Gary of Green Bay, Randy of the Town of Nasewaupee, and Shane (Julie) of Stewartville, MN; twelve grandchildren, Angela (Pete) Brickner, Rachel Lenius, Alicia (Sam) Burris, and Nathan Lenius, Krystle (Ryan) Abel, Jessica (Derek) Kamarata, and Carrie (Chad) Gezella, Mika Watters, Sarah, David, Christopher, and Matthew Watters; 16 great-grandchildren; brother, John of Sturgeon Bay; other relatives; and friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents; wife; six brothers and one sister, Quentin, Marvin, Leo, James, Roy, Russell, and Gretna Dechaine; and other relatives.

Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, May 20, 2017 at Salem Ev. Lutheran Church in the Town of Nasewaupee, 3339 County Road MM, Sturgeon Bay with Pastor John Seelman officiating. Ken will be laid to rest beside his wife, Ruby, in the church cemetery with full military honors.

Visitation for family and friends will be held from 4:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. on Friday, May 19, 2017 at Huehns Funeral Home, 1414 Michigan St., Surgeon Bay and will continue at the church, Saturday morning, from 10:00 a.m. until the time of services.

Memorials may be given in Ken’s memory for Salem Lutheran Church.

Expressions of sympathy, memories, and photos of Ken may be shared with his family through his tribute page at

“Our family would like to extend a heartfelt thanks to the caregivers from Unity Hospice with an extra thanks to Angie and Wendy for the wonderful care and compassion given to Dad during this difficult time and also sincere thanks to the staff of Cardinal Ridge in Sturgeon Bay during his brief stays there.”

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