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Plant Memorial Trees
Saturday, July 15, 2023
Starts at 1:00 pm (Central time)
James “Jim” Dennis Watkins, age 66, was born May 5, 1957, and passed away on Monday, July 10, 2023. He was born in Crossett, Arkansas to Billy Mark Watkins and Bonnie Wyman Watkins. Jim was the youngest of three children, with two older brothers Mark and Richard. They grew up with great people and friends in Hamburg, Arkansas. Jim graduated from Hamburg High School in 1975.
Jim attended the University of Arkansas at Monticello, where he was a member of the Sigma Tau Gamma fraternity. He graduated in 1980 with a Bachelor of Science in Health, Physical Education, and Recreation. He also attended and graduated from Northeast Louisiana in Monroe in 1987 with a Master’s Degree in Education (Health and Physical Education).
Jim began his career as a tennis coach. He loved the game and coached at several schools where he touched many lives. At one time, he was, also, the Head Tennis Pro at Bayou DeSiard Country Club in Monroe, Louisiana.
Jim left coaching tennis to join Bristol Myers Squibb Pharmaceuticals then enjoyed a lengthy career with Eli Lilly Pharmaceuticals. While at Eli Lilly, Jim succeeded in many company roles. He retired in December 2017 and moved to Bossier City, Louisiana where he lived at the time of his death.
Jim shared the following message with a good friend when he found out he had cancer. “I have traveled the world playing, coaching, and recruiting tennis players from Belgium to Paris to Monte Carlo to London to South Africa. I have surfed Hawaii, Mexico, Costa Rico and beyond. I have coached and worked with high school, college, professionals, and more importantly Travis Middle School (Port Lavaca, Texas) tennis players. Thank you for the prayers but I refuse your feeling sorry for me. I am the most blessed human being on this planet”.
Jim was preceded in death by his parents, Billy Mark Watkins and Bonnie Watkins Hendrix, and brother Mark Lee Watkins. Jim is survived by his brother; Richard Allen Watkins of Little Rock, Arkansas; niece, Kayli Watkins of Denver, Colorado; nephew Aaron Watkins of Benton, Arkansas; niece, Tonya Rogers of Springdale, Arkansas and a host of other family members, great friends and colleagues.
There will be a celebration of Jim’s life on Saturday, July 15, 2023, at 1:00 pm at Superior Bar and Grill, 6123 Line Avenue, Shreveport, Louisiana 71106.