La Jara, Colorado — La Jara resident Jerry Wayne Watkins (67), after a short battle with liver cancer, passed away April 19, 2017 surrounded by his loved ones in Bedford, TX. Although he moved to La Jara in 1998, last fall his daughters and grandchildren arranged for him to relocate temporarily to Bedford for cancer treatment.
During the last few days in the hospital, his cousin Bobby Johnson, retired Baptist College professor, helped him renew his faith and trust in the Lord. His daughters Mandy Watkins and Kelly Wood arranged for Hospice Care the last two days.
Jerry was born in Mercedes, Texas on November 30, 1949 to G. Willard Watkins and Leona Timken Watkins. He attended the Immanuel Lutheran Elementary and Middle School. Born with a clef pallet, the family relocated to Galveston, Texas for access to University of Texas Medical Branch. There Jerry joined the ROTC at Ball High School where he graduated in 1969.
He worked as a mechanic in Galveston where he souped-up his classic Roadrunner. Later he became a cook in various places including Rowan Companies oilrig on the Gulf; and in the Valley at Conejos County Hospital and Nursing Home where he made delicious cinnamon rolls. “That was the best job, I ever had,” he would often say of working with senior citizens. He was very tenderhearted toward the elderly.
He loved living in Colorado, especially in his home in La Jara where he enjoyed the surrounding mountains and wildlife. He practiced target shooting, and took many fishing trips up the La Jara Canyon. “He is an awesome Grandpa,” his daughter Mandy would frequently say. What Jerry loved most of all was being with his daughters and granddaughters. He taught his eldest granddaughter Juliea how to bake cinnamon rolls, too.
Preceded in death by his father and mother, aunts and uncles, Jerry is survived by his sister Edna Latini of La Jara, his daughters Kelly Wood and Mandy Watkins of Bedford,TX, and son Joseph (Tammy) Watkins; his much loved grandchildren: Juliea Lopez, Haley Spencer, Katrina Spencer, Riley Wood, Eva Wood, Kylie Watkins, Casey Watkins, Matthew Watkins; ex-wife Paula Watkins Parker of Bedford, TX; his cousins Nelda Curtiss and son Wayne Hall, Barbara Curtis, and Lori (Diego) Cortez. He leaves behind other family and friends in Texas and Colorado.
Cremation was chosen and a memorial in Texas and another in Colorado will be announced at a later time. In Texas, send condolences to his daughters at Kelly Wood & Mandy Watkins, 958 Simpson Terrace #110, Bedford, Texas, 76021 or by email: [email protected]
In Colorado, send condolences to his sister Edna Latini, 14496 CR 16, La Jara, CO, 81140.