Obituary of Tracy Michelle Watkins
My story began on April 13, 1967 in Columbia, SC. I was born to Johnny Frank Evans and Alfreda Evans, my loving parents. I was a good student, loved to smile and was blessed with a naturally sweet disposition. I learned that I also had a lot of artistic talent. I begged my parents for years for a sibling, and at the age of sixteen, Kellie Jonnette Evans was born to our family. She was the beautiful surprise that completed our family unit.
I graduated from Richland Northeast High School and went on to attend Clemson University. My sharp analytical mind was focused and my sights were on Engineering. After years of extremely hard work and acquiring an internship with Southern Bell, I graduated with my bachelor’s in science in Electrical Engineering. At this time, there weren’t many females that attained this degree from Clemson University and I was very proud. I started my career at Burlington Industries Textiles as the Plant Engineer. My tenacity, unyielding perseverance, and incredible work ethic enabled me to eventually earn the respect of the men under me and I became extremely proficient in my position.
My work life was now in order and it was time to find my knight in Shining Armor! Fortunately for me, we met while I was attending high school. I just hadn’t been paying attention. Patrick Dean Watkins now had my full attention and swept me off my feet! We were married and the birth of our gorgeous daughter Kai soon followed on September 10, 1997. Kai’s birth was unfortunately very traumatic due to a grave medical error. She was thought to not survive long after birth. We soon learned that Kai was much like me, she was a fighter and she fought through to survive. As Kai grew, we learned that she would have lasting effects for the rest of her life. She was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy and it changed the course of Patrick my life forever.
Due to the fading textile industry in the US and after being laid off, I decided to become a full time mother. My husband and I began what would later become Kai’s Kookies and More. God willed that business to flourish with the investment of our hard work into a fully operational Bakery. My baby boy, Aiden Myles Watkins joined our family and provided Kai with the sibling and companionship she needed. Under God’s good grace, Patrick and I navigated our marriage and business to success and our family thrived.
In late December I found out I had cancer and after a brief battle to save my life, God saw it fit end my battle and ensure my suffering wasn’t long. My family and friends prayed tirelessly and were by my side through my fight. My journey on this earth has ended but I leave a lasting legacy through my family and friends.