Jerry Watkins

Jerry Earl Watkins

April 17, 1951 - October 28, 2019
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Jerry Earl Watkins was born April 17, 1951, to Max Earl Watkins and Arvetta Jeanette Speakman. He was born at a hospital in Fulton right on the line between Kentucky and Tennessee, so they picked Kentucky on his birth certificate. After Jerry joined the family they lived in Tennessee, where his father worked in the logging industry. When he was very young, Jerry suffered a fever that got so high that it resulted in his disability that we knew him with. In 1960, when Jerry was 9 his Dad was killed in a logging accident.
Arvetta Jeanette Speakman Watkins met Dennis Harris and they married in June of 1962, giving both Jerry and his brother, Marley, a new home in South Dakota. During this time, he lived in Lead, the Piedmont area, and Sturgis. Jerry worked with Black Hills Special Services for a short time, and he also spent a summer haying and helping haul bales for an area rancher. Arvetta died in 2005, leaving Jerry in Dennis' care.
Dennis took good care of him, taking him to numerous rodeos, firework displays, parades, concerts and anything else that Jerry wanted to attend. Jerry enjoyed the rally and worked a couple of different rally years for Kickstart. He was always old enough to transport the beer!!! A couple of Jerry's favorite pastimes were fishing, collecting knives, stuffed animals and eating out! Dennis continued taking care of him until his death in March of 2019. After Dennis' death, Jerry moved to the Hillsview Highrise in Sturgis. He did very well on his own, walking to the grocery store, and around town whenever there was an activity going on. He especially enjoyed being downtown during the rally this year. He even got a "job" volunteering at the Kiwanis food bank, and walked to church every Sunday at the Open Bible Church of Sturgis where he was a member.
Jerry Earl Watkins, 68, of Sturgis, was killed in an accident on October 28, 2019, in Sturgis.
He is survived by a brother, Marley Watkins, Phoenix; aunt, Judy Speers, Washington; uncle, Larry (Sarah) Watkins, Kentucky; cousins, Stephanie (Craig) Pirtle and Lisa Watkins, all of Kentucky; along with special friends at the Highrise, and many other friends that will miss him dearly.
Funeral services will be held at 10:00 a.m. Monday, November 4, 2019, at Open Bible Church in Sturgis, 2121 Colorado Dr., with Pastor Reginald Lewis officiating. Interment will follow at Bear Butte Cemetery in Sturgis.
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Service Details

  • Visitation

    November 4, 2019 | 9:00am - 10:00am
    November 4, 2019 9:00am - 10:00am
    Open Bible Church -Sturgis
    2121 Colorado Drive
    Sturgis, SD 57785
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Funeral Service

    November 4, 2019 | 10:00am
    November 4, 2019 10:00am
    Open Bible Church -Sturgis
    2121 Colorado Drive
    Sturgis, SD 57785
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    Pastor Reginald Lewis
  • Interment

    November 4, 2019 | 11:00am
    November 4, 2019 11:00am
    Bear Butte Cemetery
    1147 Sherman Street
    Sturgis, SD 57785
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email

Memorial Program

We have provided a digital copy (PDF) of the Memorial Program that we supply at the time of the service. To Download this file please click the filename below. Jerry Earl Watkins - Memorial Program


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Cale Clark sent flowers to the family of Jerry Earl Watkins.
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Janet Rother

Posted at 05:26pm
I am sad to hear of Jerry Watkins passing in an accident in Sturgis. Jerry and his stepdad Dennis Harris were very good friends of our family. Warren and Joan Carlson and Kenneth and Janet Rother knew Jerry and Dennis for years. They have all passed, but I have many good memories of them all.

Cale Clark

Posted at 07:21pm
I didnt know Jerry but I was there in his last moments and wanted to send my condolences for your loss, my thoughts and prayers are with you
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Cale Clark purchased flowers and planted a memorial tree for the family of Jerry Watkins. Send Flowers


Dorothy Quaal

Posted at 04:25pm
Jerry always had a smile for everyone! He made those around him want to smile as well! He was always friendly & was so fortunate to have the love & care provided by the Walt Winder Family & Dennis. RIP God Bless!

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