Visitation Information:

February 22nd, 2021 at 05:00 PM - 07:00 PM
Memorial Park North Funeral Home Riverside Chapel
989 Riverside Drive Gainesville, GA 30501

Mrs. Sheila Ruth Tichenor Watkinson, 75


Sheila Ruth Watkinson

September 2, 1945 – February 17, 2021

Sheila was born on September 2, 1945 to Hale and Ruth Tichenor in Evansville, Indiana.  Her biological father (Hale) died in WWII before her birth and she was raised by her mother Ruth and step-father, Hugh Vierling.  Most of her youth was spent living outside of Chicago and loved the many summers that she spent with her beloved extended family in Evansville.  She excelled in her education and eventually attended college where she developed some lifelong friendships that were treasured to the end of her days. 


Sheila married Thomas Durivan and had two children, Kelly and Jeffrey.  She later married Frederick Watkinson standing the test of time and would have celebrated 37 years in March. Sheila worked in many fields, eventually finding her calling in service of others.  She worked with non-profits – the Staunton Art Center and then eventually, the Pregnancy Centers of Virginia, which spoke to her heart and where she formed many special relationships and found her passion of serving God and others. Sheila loved God with all of her heart.  She was a devoted Christian, finding peace in knowing and loving God and fellowshipping with many friends within the Christian community.


She loved her family fiercely.  Sheila was actively involved with her children and grandchildren (Hailey 20, Anna 17, and Jacob 6).  She attended every play, dance recital, soccer game, and band concert that she possibly could.  After Jacob was born, she stepped in to care for him so Kelly could return to work.  She did that with joy and selflessness for 3 years.  Her family will remember fun family gatherings playing games and swimming in the pool together, along some family vacations and many special times together.


Sheila was an artist and an entrepreneur.  She appreciated creativity and beauty.  She enjoyed many small ventures, buying and selling goods. She found immense enjoyment later in life sourcing and restoring antique furniture.  It gave her joy and satisfaction to turn something old into something beautiful again.  


In recent years, Sheila, Fred and her son Jeff relocated to the Dallas, TX area to help care for her father Hugh in his last years.  When he passed, they relocated to their retirement home in Gainesville, Georgia.  Her illness developed rapidly in the months that followed.  While in Gainesville, Fred and Sheila were blessed with several compassionate caregivers, for which our family is extremely grateful.  Sheila’s end of life care has been given by the remarkable nurses and doctors at Hospice of the Piedmont.  Their compassion and wisdom has been one of the family’s greatest blessings during such a difficult time.


Sheila leaves behind an adoring family:  her husband Frederick Watkinson, daughter Kelly and her husband Jordan and her son Jeffrey Durivan.  Her grandchildren, Hailey, Anna, and Jacob, among many cherished extended family members.  She is preceded in death by her mother, Ruth Vierling, her father Hale Tichenor, her step-father, Hugh Vierling, and her brother, David Vierling.  Her family will remember her example of love and will have peace knowing that she is enjoying eternal life in heaven.

The family will receive friends at the funeral home on Monday, February 22, 2021 from 5 until 7. Graveside Service will be held on Tuesday, February 23, 2021 at 1:30 PM at Alta Vista Cemetery


In lieu of flowers, please make a donation in her honor to Hospice of the Piedmont in Charlottesville, VA -


Memorial Park Funeral Home North Riverside Chapel, 989 Riverside Dr. is in charge of arrangements.

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Condolences 5
Jackie 2021-02-19 23:08:11
Shelia you was my best friend.We had lot of talks laughs and cried together.You told me you always hope Kelly And Jeff knew how much u loved them Well let me tell you they .Do!I know u will watch over me.MBF I LOVE YOU TELL WE MEET AGAIN
Susan Horne 2021-02-21 09:22:01
Death, even when expected, is so hurtful. We hope that Sheila's death brings some peace to the family, knowing that she is comfortable now and no longer suffering. My heart is with all of you at this challenging time.
Cinda Lou Vierling Butrum 2021-02-21 22:08:39
Fred and Family, you have my sympathy for the passing of Sheila. When we were much younger we played with other cousins in Boonville and at Granny’s. Reunions were always a way to meet again. My prayers are with you.
jack vierling 2021-02-22 12:08:17
What a Beautiful picture of Sheila! So Elegant, so Statuesque. The Shelia we want to remember, outdoors, free of the shell she had been trapped in in her last days. Now up with God she so dearly loved, able to ride down to us on the SON’S beams and bring happy wonderful memories to those she loved, who also loved her in return. Words do not exist to express how much she will be missed by Fred, Kelly, Jeffrey and all that knew and loved her. Sheila made so many sacrifices to be with her family on earth; and now is free in Heaven to reunite with Ruth, Hugh and her beloved brother David. And to tell her Mother one more time “I love you”. Heaven is surely a more wonderful place to be with Sheila there, no more aches or pains, just happiness abounds. When rays of sunlight shine upon us we will recall her laugh, her wit, her ever smiling face; and most of all her compassion for family and others. Borrowing two quotes from Andy Rooney, Sheila knew “That having a child fall asleep in your arms is one of the most peaceful feelings in the world”. Also, with respect to Hailey, Anna and Jacob she knew “That when your newly born grandchild holds your little finger in a little fist, you're hooked for life”. This is our Sheila we will forever remember. Rest now in peace Sheila; you surely earned it! With Love and Respect, Wallie and Jack Vierling
Cheryl Leasa 2021-02-25 20:17:45
My deepest condolences to Sheila’s kids and Fred. She is in Gods hands now delivered from pain and I wish all of you well.
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