Army PFC Samuel Kelly Watkins, of Henderson County, was presumed dead on March 3, 1954.
He left for overseas duty on December 25, 1950 to be with the 2nd infantry Division in South Korea. On February 14, 1951 he was presumed captured by enemy forces and taken to POW camp in North Korea. In 1954 a US Army review board pronounced him presumed dead and in 1956 another Army review board declared his remains to be non-recoverable. Through the Korean War Project and DNA provided by surviving family members the remains of Samuel Kelly Watkins were identified.
He was the son of the late Samuel and Bertha Kilby Watkins. In addition to his parents he was preceded in death by three sisters, Edna Blackwell Bolt, Margaret ìVickiî Frady and Patsy Jean Penland and a brother James Donald Watkins.
He is survived by two sisters, Grace Pittman and her husband William and Martha Dell Hare and her husband James; eight nieces, fifteen nephews and several cousins.
He is returned to his home town and will be laid to rest at Forest Lawn Memorial Park following a funeral service at 2:00 PM Thursday in the chapel at Forest Lawn Funeral Home. Military Graveside Rites will be conducted by the Fort Bragg (Army) Military Honors Support Team. The family will receive friends from 1-2:00 PM Thursday at the funeral home.