Obituary Listings

James Willard Watkins

April 1, 1944 January 8, 2018
James Willard Watkins
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Obituary for James Willard Watkins

“Coach” James (Jim) Willard Watkins, 73, of S. Pasadena FL (formerly of Lapeer), passed away Monday January 8, 2018. He was born April 1, 1944 in Riverside, CA to Charles and Sadie Watkins.

He was a 1962 graduate of West Bloomfield High School where he lettered in football and basketball. He earned a bachelors at Central Michigan and a masters at Indiana State University. He became a high school teacher so that he could coach and went on to be very successful with a 143-76 overall record. He was the head varsity coach for Brown City, Imlay City, and Ortonville Brandon. His teams won 10 league championships, snagged five 9-0 regular seasons, and had six state playoff appearances. In 1993 Jim was inducted into the Michigan High School Coaches Hall of Fame. After retirement, he moved to Florida to enjoy the sunshine. He loved to golf, karaoke, travel, and go to the dog track.
Jim is survived by his daughters: Lacy (Quinn) Minard of Columbiaville; Kelly (A.J.) Swearingen of Nashville, TN, grandchildren: Daphne; Gibson; Marlon; Easton James, siblings: Charlene Watkins Jenkins; Ken (Sue) Watkins; Deborah (fiancé, Don Martineau) Watkins; Tracy (Joan) Watkins, mother to his daughters: Barbara MacEachin, and dear friend for many years: Sara Cramer. Mr. Watkins was preceded in death by his parents.

The family has entrusted Muir Brothers Funeral Home, Lapeer with cremation. A memorial service is scheduled 2:30 p.m. on Monday January 29, 2018 at David C. Gross Funeral Home, 6366 Central Ave, St. Petersburg, FL 33707.

Memorial contributions may be made to The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research (P.O. Box 4777, New York, NY 10163-4777),or St. Paul Lutheran Church, Lapeer, MI. Condolences and memories may be left at


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