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Myrtle Valois Ferguson Watkins was a caring wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, sister, aunt, and friend. She left this world peacefully on Sept. 2, 2021, at the age of 91. She was the youngest of four siblings, who have preceded her in death, Ellen Conway, Esther Thurston, Bernard Ferguson, and Margaret White.

She was born to the late William and Rebecca Ferguson on July 17, 1930, in Hallieford, Va. After graduating from St. Paul University, she married the love of her life, the late Robert D. Watkins Sr. Together, they had two sons, Robert D. II and Zane Bruce Watkins Sr. Valois was a supportive wife and loving mother.

Valois and her late husband were faithful servants of Jehovah for over 65 years. They served as full-time Pioneers for several of those years. Valois treasured the opportunity that was provided by the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society for her and her family to tour the Holy Lands in Israel. She enjoyed the support and guidance her faith provided her, assisting her to navigate through many of life’s obstacles.

She often shared with pride her being the first African American teacher at Mergenthaler Senior High School in Baltimore, Md. Valois was a skilled seamstress and a teacher of designing and dressmaking. She returned to Virginia and taught at Eureka High School in Keysville, Va. Valois retired and became the caretaker of her beloved mother for several years. She cherished her best friends, the late Hinton, Pine, and Leonard, all sisters in the faith. She loved to go thrift shopping once a month with her niece Adrienne.

Valois’s words of wisdom were fondly said to her children, family, friends, and students. “I can, I shall, and I will” and “Don’t give up.”

Valois is survived by two sons, Robert D. II in Rosedale, Md., and Zane Bruce Sr. in Hallieford; former daughters-in-law, Luseane Mafi Vaitohi in Hawaii, Sharon Watkins in Rosedale, Md., beloved the late Shantie Rambissoon. Valois has 13 awesome grandchildren, Carol Sabatre Watkins, Kellei (Christopher) Laistler, Zane (Pamala) Watkins II, Toatele (Marrisa) Watkins, Nathan Watkins, Luseane A. “Uno” (Andre) Tailele, Victor Watkins, and Priscilla (William) Buie; 20 great-grandchildren and a host of nieces, nephews, and friends. Valois will be missed by all who loved her and by those whose lives she touched.

At the family’s request, she will be cremated and remembered in a virtual memorial on Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021. Memorial contributions may be made to scroll down to donations and click Worldwide Work, or you may send cards to The Watkins Family at P.O. Box 70119, Rosedale, Md. 21237.