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Jimmy Watkins

April 14, 1944 ~ June 8, 2021 (age 77)


Mr. Jimmy Watkins transition from this world into eternity on June 8, 2021 in Columbia, SC.  He was born in Fort Mitchell, Alabama on April 14, 1944 to the late Waddell and Nicie Rutledge Watkins.

Jimmy attended the public schools of District Heights of Columbia.  He furthered his education and obtained an undergraduate degree from Howard University where he studied Mathematician and Mathematics Economics. He also attended the University of California at Berkeley and earned a Master’s Degree in Transportation Engineering and Mathematics.  He also earned an Associate of Arts Degree in music from Prince George Community College.  On April 3, 1965, he was initiated as a member of Alpha Phi Omega Zeta Phi Chapter and on May 4, 2000, he was inducted into the PhiTheta Kappa Society on May 4, 2000. 

Jimmy took pride in being a Butcher while attending high school and college. In 1969, he began his Federal Government career, working for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) as a mathematical statistician.  He stayed with that agency for 11 years until he was employed by Energy Information Administration (EIA) in 1980. During his employment with FAA, he transferred to the agency’s office in Denver, Colorado, for 2 years. During his time in Colorado, he applied for a job with the Department of Energy (DOE) which made it possible for him to move back home to the Washington, DC, area where he retired in 1988. He also tutored high school and college students in Mathematics.

Jimmy attended and worshipped at Johnson Memorial Baptist Church.  As a part of his civic duty, he developed a tutoring scholarship program for local high school students.  Jimmy’s hobbies included playing piano, chess and tennis. He composed the words and music to the song “Cross That Bridge”.  Jimmy was a devoted father to his son James, and he was immensely proud of his accomplishments and he loved his grandchildren deeply. He was loyal to everyone he loved and his sense of humor always kept everyone around him laughing and he was always the life the party. He was well traveled and had the opportunity to share many of his adventures with his son James Tristan. Jimmy resided in Columbia, SC until the departure of his life on Tuesday, June 8, 2021.  He shared a special bond with his niece Cynthia Johnson, whom welcomed him into her home with open arms, and gave of herself unselfishly. 

Jimmy was predeceased by his father, Waddell Watkins; mother, Nicie Rutledge; brothers, Waddell Watkins, James Watkins, Rozzell Watkins, Dewitt Watkins and William Watkins; sisters, Nicie (Watkins) Jones and Rebecca (Watkins) Pearson; uncle, Reverend Mitchell Johnson and aunt Elizabeth Johnson, who raised him from a young age.

Although Jimmy' sweet physical presence is no longer with us, his memory will live forever in the hearts and minds of all who were fortunate to have known and loved him.  He leaves to cherish precious memories, his wife and mother of his son Tristan, Carolyn Chess Watkins; sons, James Tristan (Roxanne) Watkins of Valencia, CA and Eric Watkins of Mobile, AL; grandchildren, Jasmine Tristina Watkins of Valencia CA, James Tristan Watkins Jr of Valencia, CA; uncle, Isaac Watkins of California; sibling, Elizabeth (Horace) Johnson of Columbia, SC; a loving and devoted friend, Paulette Queen of Washington, DC; and a host of devoted nieces, nephew, cousins other loving relatives and friends.

To send flowers to Jimmy's family, please visit our floral store.

 Service Program


June 13, 2021

2:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Bostick-Tompkins Funeral Home
2930 Colonial Drive
Columbia, SC 29203

Funeral Service
June 14, 2021

2:00 PM
Bostick-Tompkins Funeral Home
2930 Colonial Drive
Columbia, SC 29203

Video is available for this event

Interment following funeral service

Bush River Memorial Gardens
5400 Bush River Road
Columbia, SC 29210

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