First Responders 03

John Robert "Bobby" Watkins, Sr.

September 10, 1955 ~ February 6, 2021 (age 65)


"As for God, His way is perfect." Psalm 18:30

John Robert “Bobby” Watkins, Sr., 65, of Leesburg, entered into eternal glory with our Heavenly Father on Saturday, February 6, 2021 at Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital.

Born September 10, 1955 to William Jackson Watkins, Sr. and Catherine Burgess Watkins, he grew up in Albany and was a graduate of Albany High School.  Bobby, or "Chief" to his EMS family, retired from Lee County Emergency Services in November of last year after serving for 25 years as the EMS Director.  With a combined 41 years, Bobby also jointly served our community as a paramedic with Dougherty County EMS for over three decades and also served Lee County as a Deputy Coroner and Coroner.

Bobby had a passion for his work and was always teaching others.  He loved spending time with his family fishing, hunting or being a handy man for them.  He greatly enjoyed raising chickens, which he cared for like children.  He had a love for the Andy Griffith Show and his family knew not to interrupt him when “new” episodes were on.

Survivors include his wife, Kathy Watkins; children, John Robert Watkins, Jr., Cordele, Maranda Wright (Tom), Albany, Ryn Crider (Stevie), Nashville, TN, Meagan Bridges (Drew), Eldorendo; brothers, Jack Watkins (Lucretia), Dewayne Watkins, Tim Watkins, Rev. Mark Watkins (Melanie); sisters, Sally Crook, Cathy Hughes (Rick).  He is survived by eleven grandchildren, Josh Ammons, Peyton Watkins, Ward Wright, Hallie Kay Wright, Stephen Crider, Cade Crider, Harlow Crider, Andy Bridges, Amelia Bridges, Austin Bridges, Ace Bridges, and countless chickens.  Bobby was preceded in death by his parents.

The family would like to extend their deepest appreciation to the doctors, nurses, and health care team members who cared for Bobby in phenomenal ways during his final days.  "Surely You have granted him eternal blessings and made him glad with the joy of Your presence." Psalm 20:6

In lieu of flowers, please consider making a memorial donation to the Pay It ForWARD Fund (named for his grandson, Ward), c/o Jay’s Hope Foundation, 1157 B Forsyth Rd, Macon, GA 31201( or the Hudson Family Foundation, 300 N. Dean Road Suite 5, Auburn, AL 36830 (

The family will have a private service and will receive friends Thursday from 6 to 8 PM at Mathews Funeral Home.  

To send sympathy gifts to the family or plant a tree in memory of John Robert "Bobby" Watkins, Sr., please visit our tribute store.


February 11, 2021

6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Mathews Funeral Home
3206 Gillionville Rd
Albany, GA 31721


Hudson Family Foudation
300 North Dean Rd, Suite 5, Auburn AL 36830

Pay It ForWARD, c/o Jay's Hope
1157 B Forsyth Rd, Macon GA 31201

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