James Everette (Jim) Watkins


James Everette (Jim) Watkins, 79 of Loxley, AL, formerly of Cottondale, FL, passed away on Saturday, November 11, 2023 in Atlanta, GA. He was participating in the Atlanta Veterans Day Parade, which he had done for many years.

James was born in Ocala, FL to the late Ed and Mary Watkins.  He graduated from Cottondale High in 1962.  He received his BS degree in Marketing from Florida State University and his MBA from Francis Marion University in Florence, SC. He served in the United States Army. He attened Basic training at Fort Benning, GA, Officer’s Candidate School at Fort Belvoir,Va. He graduated from United States Army Engineering School in Fort Belvoir, VA and he graduated from Command and General Staff College in Fort Leavenworth, KS. He served a tour of duty in Vietnam. James proudly served his country and after his distinguished service, he retired as Lieutenant

Colonel in 2004 from the United States Army Reserve. He received several Honors and Awards including The Meritorious Service Medal.

After his active duty, James went to work for Gulf Oil Company in sales. He soon branched out in other areas of the company utilizing his engineering and computer skills and experience, He moved to BP Oil Company when Gulf Oil was bought by BP. At BP, he was involved in real estate and aviation sales. He later went to work for Perry Brothers Aviation Fuels in Americus, GA where he was still employed at his death.

He was preceded in death by his parents the late Ed and Mary Watkins and his older brother, Charles Watkins.

James is survived by hIs wife, Donna Watkins, Loxley AL, Daughters: Michelle Taliaferro (Chip) ,Leesburg VA. Megan Watkins (Trey Sipe), Atlanta GA. Stepdaughter, Lori Matus, Loxley, Al. Stepson, Jason Smith (Brandy), Loxley, AL. His sister, Mary Ellen Alexander Eatonton, GA. Grandchildren: George Taliaferro, Davis Taliaferro, Abby Taliaferro  Ella Sipe, Riley Sipe, Beau Sipe. Step grandchildren: Kristen Matus, Asher Smith. Nephews: Chuck Watkins, Carl Watkins, Tim Alexander.  Niece, Jenny Alexander.

James was a member of the VFW in Fairhope, AL, The Ancient Aviators, Vietnam Veterans Club and Christ Wesleyan Church and he had been involved with Atlanta Vietnam Veterans Business Association for many years. He was an avid Florida State Seminole supporter.

Memorials may be given to Wounded Warriors Project (woundedwarriorproject.org) or Samaritan’s Purse (PO Box 3000, Boone, NC 28607 or samaritanspurse.org).

Memorial service and burial will be held at a later date at Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Spanish Fort, Alabama.


  1. Jim, I shall miss you. We had been friends, as our families were, since the 4th grade at least, you in Cottondale, me in Marianna. We were competitive about our cattle breeds, yours Hereford, mine Angus, as our fathers had their chosen breeds.. Lots of good times and memories and I appreciate the many years of friendship. Thank you for keeping in touch those years. You were truly a good and honorable friend and I will remember you always along with the long talk and the fun emails about our shared love of politics. RIP, my sweet friend and I hope and pray your family is doing well.



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