This scholarship recognizes the long history of Marion County as an agricultural area and the importance of farming in our community. John and Jackie Watkins both grew up in Delaware County and attended Radnor schools. They knew the value of education and its lifelong benefits.
A 1951 graduate of Ohio State University, John came to Marion and taught vocational agriculture in Prospect, Larue, Waldo, and Elgin high schools for 16 years. In 1967, he was appointed Assistant State Supervisor in Agricultural Education at Ohio State University and the State Department of Education and served for 18 years. Following his retirement in 1984, John was elected Marion County Commissioner and served four terms. He passed in 2017.
During these 50 years, Jackie was a homemaker and full-time mother to the couple’s five children. When the children were grown, she worked at the local Elder-Beerman store.
Following Jackie’s passing in 1998, the family established the John & Jackie Watkins Scholarship Fund in her memory to assist the youth of Marion County to attend college—specifically to study agriculture. The Watkins Fund makes awards to graduating seniors from any high school in Marion County who are pursuing an education in agriculture, with special consideration given to those who have participated in FFA.