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Obituary - Wilbur Vaughn 'Bunts' Watkins Dec. 3, 1926-May 29, 2020


Last updated 6/11/2020 at 11:17am

Wilbur Watkins

Wilbur Vaughn "Bunts" Watkins passed away at age 93 May 29, 2020.

A celebration of life will be Saturday, June 13, noon to 3 p.m. People can call 406-240-8002, for more details.

For those who knew Bunts, he was a man of few words, an incredibly hard worker, and was never afraid to state his opinion and then move on.

Born in Sweetgrass, Montana, to Clara Llewelyn and Harry Watkins he was the third child of seven.

His siblings, Stan Watkins, Rosemary Teel, Wally Watkins, Ted Watkins, Gwyn Watkins and Bruce Watkins all predeceased him.

Bunts spent his formative years in Sweetgrass, Montana before moving to Havre to attend Havre High School.

In 1945, he joined the U.S. Army, where he served in Japan when the war ended.

After the war, he returned to Havre and met June Marie Bruning. They were married in 1950 and proceeded to have six children in seven years. His beloved, June, passed away in 2016.

Bunts and his brother Ted owned and operated Havre Distributors until 1973 when Bunts moved to Missoula. He was the president of Zip Beverage until his retirement.

Bunts was active in many charities in both Havre and Missoula. In Havre, he was a past exalted ruler of the Elks, member of the Rotary Club, an active parent for the Havre Lions Swim Team and started the Havre International Softball Tournament.

In Missoula, he was a member of the Boys & Girls Club, helped build the Dragon Hallow at Caras Park and was instrumental in the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation obtaining their first major donation from Anheuser Busch.

He spent many happy summers at his beloved Six Mile Estate on Swan Lake. For many years he hosted the University of Montana football coaching staff at Swan Lake and in earlier years he entertained Missoula youth groups at Swan Lake.

He also hunted with and entertained major league baseball players while hunting in Montana and Canada.

Bunts was a generous man, believed that a person should work hard, hang onto it and pass it on to his children. He was the proud patriarch of the extended Watkins family.

Bunts is survived by his children, Karen Myers (Ken), Debbie Beaudette (Tom), Dian Schmidt (Tom), Bill Watkins, Sue Ellen Waters (Laughlin) and Amy Shulund (Ray) and 11 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers please send a donation to Havre Youth Baseball PO Box 722, Havre, MT 59501.


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