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Jesse Lee ("Twister") Watkins Sr.

October 24, 1949 ~ March 19, 2020 (age 70)


Jesse Lee Watkins, Sr., 70, known to many as “Twister,” went to be with his Lord and Savior Thursday, March 19, 2020, after an incredibly hard fought, two-year battle with pancreatic cancer. He was a devoted and beloved husband, father, papa, grandpapa, great-grandpapa, brother, cousin, nephew, friend, neighbor and all-around saint-of-a-man who always put everyone else’s needs above his own. He was loved by all who knew him.

Jesse was born in Silver City, NM, on October 24, 1949, to Alexander and Lorene Watkins. He spent his early childhood in Mule Creek, NM, working on his family’s ranch and attending school in Cliff, NM. When he graduated from the 8th grade, he moved to Loraine, Tex., and supported himself while he completed high school. Shortly after graduating from Loraine High School in 1969, he was hired by El Paso Natural Gas Company. A 35-year career with the company took he and his family to multiple places across the great state of Texas. He always wanted to return to his beloved Mule Creek, NM, and following his retirement in 2004, he and his wife Judith moved back and built their home, made improvements to the ranch and enjoyed running their own cow-calf operation. Jesse was known for his quiet nature and amazing stewardship of his land and cattle.

He was preceded in death by his parents Alexander and Lorene Watkins and brother Samuel Watkins. Jesse is survived by the love of his life, Judith, three children, Melody Rackler and husband Barry, Jesse Lee Watkins, Jr. and wife Shelli, Jaylene McIntosh and husband Will; sister Rachel Knapp and husband Mason; nine grandchildren and eight great grandchildren; other family members including an aunt, an uncle and multiple cousins; numerous friends and beloved church family.

A celebration of life service will be scheduled at a later date. In lieu of flowers, please send memorials in Jesse’s name to The New Mexico Cancer Center Foundation; 4901 Lang Ave. NE., Albuquerque, NM 87109.

Bright Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements, “A Loving and Caring Place to Celebrate, Honor, and Remember A Life Lived,” 210 W. College Ave., Silver City, New Mexico 88061.  Remembrances can be made at

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