Kathy Jean (Long) Watkins

Kathy Jean (Long) Watkins, 55, died peacefully March 26, 2019 after a long and courageous battle with cancer. Born in Rockledge, FL on August 20, 1963 and raised on Merritt Island, Kathy died Tuesday afternoon at Haven Hospice in Gainesville, FL. Kathy was a long-time resident of Gainesville, never leaving after attending University of Florida. She received her nursing degree from UF and went on to work as a nurse at numerous hospitals, and long-term care facilities as well as teaching at Santa Fe Community College in the nursing lab.
Kathy was a child of nature and loved all living creatures, especially four-legged ones. She saw the beauty in even their skeletal form. She collected items from her many walks and displayed them throughout her home along with all things dog memorabilia. She was creative and artistic which also was evident in her humor. She may have been quiet, but she said a lot in a few words.
Kathy was strong, independent and tenacious to the end. She received supreme care at Haven Hospice, a wonderfully caring compassionate place. She was also fortunate in the loving care given by her doctors in and out of hospice. We thank you all for taking such splendid care of Kathy.
Kathy was predeceased by her parents, George H Long, Jr (1996) and Maxine Carter Long (1991), and a younger brother Bruce David Long (1968). Her surviving family include: her brother Doug Long of Merritt Island, FL and wife Ruth and their children Jennifer Wivholm (husband Brandon) and George Long Jr (wife Kerry); her sister Gerry Long of Raleigh, NC; her sister Sharon Long of MN and spouse Peggy; her brother Don Long of Canaveral Groves, FL and wife Nannette and their children Brandon and Melissa; her sister Pam Dowdy of Port St John, FL and husband Tim; maternal aunt Kathleen Rouse of Oviedo, FL; maternal uncle Dean Carter of Desert Hot Springs, CA; grand-niece and nephews: Connor and Riley Wivholm and Jackson Long. Definitely not last are her wondrous friends of which her life was much brightened by their presence. Her surviving canine children, Tsunami (Nami) and Dogzilla (Zilla) have found new loving homes which was Kathy’s last and dearest wish.
Kathy will be buried at Evergreen Cemetery on Thursday, March 28, 2019 at 11 am which is her mother’s birthday. The cemetery is a beautiful historic tree-lined atmospheric place that she chose herself, even going so far as to take her dogs for walks there. The remains of her canine children: Zora Love, Mayzie Grace, and Nuisance (Nuse) Bella will be with her forever.
Nami and Zilla and all of us will miss you Kathy.
“In a perfect world, every dog would have a home”