Writing Clerical 02


Melody Gay Watkins

October 31, 1956 ~ March 7, 2018 (age 61)

Melody Gay Chappell (LaBurthe) Watkins, 61, of Rockford, passed away Wednesday, March 7, 2018. She was born in Wichita, Kansas on October 31, 1956 to Laura and Preston Chappell.    She had 2 brothers, Murray and Preston.  When Melody reached the age of 5 her family moved to Slidell, Louisiana.  Melody graduated from Slidell High School with honors, at the age of 16, and attended Southeastern Louisiana University, in Hammond, Louisiana, from which she graduated in 1977 with a BA degree in Elementary Education.  Upon graduation, Melody married her college sweetheart, Alfred LaBurthe. The couple settled in New Orleans East, and she began teaching elementary school.  She was a dedicated and loving teacher for 15 years. She became a widow at the age of 33. 

Moving to Rockford, Illinois in 2003, she worked for AAA for over 10 years, offering her customers excellent service and making many friends among her co-workers.  In Rockford, she met Gregory Watkins, her second husband.  They were married on May 28, 2004.  In recent years, her health issues caused her to retire from AAA, but she kept in touch with her co-workers and friends.

Melody is survived by her husband, Gregory Watkins; brother, his wife and daughter, Preston, DJ and Lindsey Chappell; in-laws, Wanda and Barry Watkins and Brent Watkins; her pets, Wendy, Casper and Buddy. 

Memorial service will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Friday, March 23, 2018 in Calvary Christian Church, 5455 Charles Street, Rockford 61108. 

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