Jessie J. Watkins, 87, of Junction City, died May 9, 2018 at Good Shepherd Hospice House in Manhattan. Jessie was born Oct. 13, 1930 in Newton, Mississippi, the son of Joseph and Janie (Jordan) Watkins. He attended schools in Newton and graduated from high school in 1950. He entered the United States Army and retired in 1973 as a Sgt. after 22 years in the military.
After his honorable discharge from the U.S. Army, he worked for 23 years at Hiland Dairy at Junction City.
Jessie married Opal Tanksley on August 19, 1954 in Decatur, Mississippi. Jessie is survived by his wife Opal and 2 daughters, Debbie Greenfield and her husband, Steven, Liberty, Missouri, and Sandra Gay and her husband, Reuben, Indianapolis, Indiana; a brother, Arthur Watkins, Detroit, MI; 2 sisters, Odessa Johnson, Newton, MS, and Patricia Spencer, Detroit, MI; a grandson, Reuben Gay, Jr. and his wife Taui; a granddaughter, Logan Gay; and a great-granddaughter, Corrine Gay. Jessie was preceded in death by a son, Dunnie Watkins on July 13, 2010, and a daughter, Dinia Watkins on November 7, 2017. Jessie was a devoted husband, father and grandfather. He was loved by all who knew him and he will be truly missed.
Funeral services will be 11:00 a.m., Thursday, May 17, 2018 at Second Missionary Baptist Church in Junction City. Interment will follow at 1:00 p.m. at the Kansas Veterans' Cemetery at Ft. Riley, Manhattan. Military honors will be provided by the United States Army Honor Guard from Ft. Riley. The family will greet friends at the church Thursday morning, beginning at 10:00 a.m. until service time.
Memorial contributions may be given to Good Shepherd Hospice House, 3801 Vanesta Dr., Manhattan, KS 66503.