Lewis Bate Watkins

Lew, 80, passed away peacefully at Atterdag Village in Solvang after a lengthy and valiant battle with Alzheimer's disease.

He was born in Pontiac, Michigan and raised in Canton, Ohio graduating from Lehman's High School. He was a proud member of the Ohio National Guard and the Texas Air National Guard.

After years of traveling for Household Finance in Ohio, Florida, and Texas he moved to California where he met and married Sue and adopted her son Dan. Lew affectionately referred to Sue as “his main hog.”

His business career culminated with California Thrift and Loan in Santa Barbara retiring in 2000 from his position as Executive Vice President.

In 1998 Sue and Lew moved to Solvang where they enjoyed their lives playing golf, bridge, and traveling the world. Lew also became an Exalted Ruler of the Santa Ynez Valley Elks #2640.

After Lew's Alzheimer's diagnosis, he and Sue became active and passionate volunteers for the cause. They created and hosted the very successful “Swing to Remember” golf tournament in the Valley and their story appeared in the Alzheimer's version of the “Chicken Soup for the Soul” book.

Lew was adored by his many friends and deeply loved by his wife, son, daughter-in-law Stacey, and grandsons Josh and Ben.

He was a man of integrity and a quick, dry wit that often left him laughing at his own joke. All who knew him loved and respected the man he was.

His was truly a life well lived.

At Lew's request, there will be no services. In lieu of flowers the family suggests that donations be made to the Atterdag Village Endowment Fund.

Load entries