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Obituary - Paul Watlington



Paul Allen Watlington, age 53, of Maryville, Tenn., lost his battle with cancer Friday, April 2, 2004, at Blount Memorial Hospital. Watlington was a veteran of the show ring, a trainer of world champions and a well-versed judge. He was honored with the task of judging the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration in August 2003.

Watlington has always been involved with the walking horse industry and began his career at the age of 14 in Gretna, Va., under the guidance of Otly Keely. Two years later he assumed a position in the training barn of Dudie Powell at Martinsville, Va. He trained under Benny Johnson of Virginia and Eddie Tuck of North Carolina. His talents did not go unnoticed and he moved to Tennessee to learn from the greats.

While in Tennessee he worked under Charlie Bobo, J.T. Leach, Ralph Hensley, David Landrum, Ramsey Bullington, Sonny Holt and Wallace Brandon.

He has ridden several show ring stars including Countdown’s Scorpion, Coin’s Nugget of Gold, Floodlight, Duke’s Timbrooke, Romeo’s Paradise and The Lottery. Other talented horses under his guidance were Pride’s Super Sonic, Eb’s Bold Design, multi-world champion Pretty Please, Centennial Delight, Final’s Eb Tide and Generator’s Fantasia.

He was a member of Piney Grove Baptist Church in Gretna, Va., and a member of Shekinah Lodge #524, Knoxville, and Order of Eastern Star #456.

Watlington was preceded in death by his parents, Paul G. and Sallye Allen Watlington. Survivors include his wife, Vicki L. Watlington of Maryville, Tenn.; a son, Paul Watlington II of Lynchburg, Va.; two daughters, Jessie W. Hull of Pennsylvania and Kaye W. Baggerly of Shelbyville, Tenn.; three grandchildren, Brianna Hull, Amber Crawford and Lane Baggerly; two sisters, Patsy W. Hutcherson and Paulette W. Adkins and her husband Henry; and many special nieces, nephews and friends.

Funeral services were held at McCammon-Ammons-Click Funeral Home Chapel on Sunday, April 4. The family suggest memorials may be made to Hope For Today Cancer Support Group c/o Piney Grove Baptist Church, 536 Blockhouse Road, Maryville, TN 37803, to Piney Grove Baptist Church or Carpenters United Methodist Church.

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