James Merle Wadkins, 72, Walnut Hill

James Merle Wadkins, 72, of Walnut Hill, died on Friday, Dec. 28, 2007, at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, Mo.

Services were held at 2 p.m. on Sunday at Day Funeral Home in Patoka, with the Rev. Alan Nollman officiating. Burial was in Vernon Cemetery, rural Vernon. Visitation was held on Saturday evening and from 9 a.m. until time of service on Sunday, both at the funeral home. Memorials: Cancer Fund.

Mr. Wadkins was born on Sept. 10, 1935, in Clinton County, the son of Leo Merle and Beulah Marie Davis Wadkins. He married Ella R. Manning on Feb. 21, 1955, in Sandoval.

He served in the U.S. Army for 20 years, retiring in September 1975 at the rank of master sergeant. He lived in Selmaville after retiring from the military, then lived in Patoka for 12 years and in Walnut Hill for the past two years. He owned and operated Watkins Insurance Agency for several years, and was a member of Grace Church of Centralia and Edgar R. Rogier Post No. 543 of the American Legion in Patoka. He was an avid card player and enjoyed all types of hunting.

He is survived by his wife; son, James L. Wadkins and his wife Dona of Centralia; daughters, Ann Pud and her husband Geoff Scheerer of Hoffman Estates, Pam and her husband Kevin Gilmore of Centralia, and Tammy and her husband Marlin Filer of Vandalia; sisters, Shirley and her husband John Harvey of Junction City, Dora Sussens of Sandoval, Sheila and her husband Derry of Centralia, and Lela Tate and special friend Tom Ellis of Centralia; grandchildren, Steve Scheerer and special friend Jenny Basden of Chicago, Melissa Scheerer of Chicago, Zack Filer of Vandalia, Nick Filer of Vandalia and Andrew Wadkins of Centralia.

He was preceded in death by his parents.

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