The city of El Dorado will be losing a long-time real estate agent and broker on Friday. Ruth Watkins of Faith Realty has been in the Real Estate business for 37 years and plans to retire before the new year.
She was born in Tucson, Ariz., on Jan. 4, 1931 at Stork’s Nest Maternity Hospital. When her mother, Daisy, was unable to take care of her due to an affliction of tuberculosis, she was brought to Kansas by her grandparents, Bill and Anna Sandlin and “Rattlesnake” Nell, who collected rattlesnake venom for medical use in hospitals.
Ruth had a typical childhood–playing jacks and hide and go seek and climbing tees. She enjoyed playing a game called “Nyoka the Jungle Girl” with her friends, many of whom lived in the apartment across the street from where she resided. Her climbing was not limited solely to trees, however, she was known to scale several of the buildings along North Main Street as well in her youth. As a young El Dorado resident, she often enjoyed going to the El Dorado Theater for their afternoon shows. She often used a special wrapper promotion through S&H Bread Company to earn a ticket.
She attended Lincoln Elementary and El Dorado’s middle school as well as El Dorado High School before her graduation in 1948.
Her adult life began for her in 1947 when she was married to her husband of 56 years, Howard Watkins, in 1947. She began working at the age of 16 as a waitress for New York Restaurant and became so excellent at her work other restaurants at the time tried to hire her for themselves. In 1952, she moved on to work at Beechcraft, where she stayed for 13 years. During that time, she was on the Employee’s Club Board of Directors and helped in building of some of the company’s lake sites.
She later began exploring her entrepreneurial side, opening Ms. Susie’s, a dine-in and carryout restaurant, which gave many high school youths their first jobs. She changed her focus for the last time in 1978 when she began Pyramid Real Estate. She owned the company for more than 30 years before moving to Faith Realty.
In her senior years, Watkins has made an effort to stay busy. In addition to her position as associate broker at Faith Realty, she has served on the board of directors at the El Dorado Senior Center, and is an active member of Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Legion, Senior Ambassadors, and Trinity Episcopal Church, the last of which she has been a part of since 1952.
In honor of her retirement from Faith Realty, a reception will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday at the Faith Realty office, located at 1420 W. Sixth in El Dorado.
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