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William Watkins

1933 - 2021


William Watkins, beloved longtime Davis resident and educator, peacefully passed away of pneumonia, February 27, 2021.  He courageously lived nearly a decade with dementia.

Bill was born in Tahlequah, Oklahoma on August 6, 1933.  He was the youngest of five siblings.  Bill started his education in a one room school house.  He moved with his family to Merced, California and there he finished high school.  Bill then went into the US Air Force where he served four years.

California State University Sacramento was his college choice for undergraduate education.  He then proceeded on to the University of Missouri for his Master's degree.  Bill started his education career teaching in the Rio Linda School District where he met his wife Ellen (McLarnin).  They married in 1966 and moved to Davis where he began serving in the Davis Joint Unified School District as a Psychologist.  During this time he pursued his doctoral degree which he earned in 1973 from The Fielding Institute, Santa Barbara, California.  He later served the district as Principal and then as Director of Pupil Services.  After 28 years, Bill retired (kind of) and went on to consulting with other school districts in the area, as well as teaching at National University in Sacramento.

Bill loved the children he was able to guide and teach as well as all of the educators with whom he worked.  In addition to being a loving husband & father he was a man with many interests & hobbies.  Traveling, seeing new places and cruising topped the list.  He was an avid reader, enjoyed academics & had a love for music. For many years he enjoyed volunteering @ the Sacramento Jazz Festival. He loved a good party, entertaining & interacting with people.  Bill's rosy cheeked, mustache smile was always sure to light up a room.  He loved a good joke & sharing his wisdom.  His culinary skills proved to be crowd pleasing.  His homemade ice cream was always a hit; especially his Peach William & Bill's Berry recipes with fruit grown his back yard.  He will be greatly missed!

Bill is survived by his devoted wife, Ellen of 55 years; two children who proudly called him Dad, Megan Watkins of Davis, CA & Grant (Emily) Watkins of San Diego, CA.; and two handsome grandsons, William & Tucker who loved their Pa.  He has nieces and nephews still living in Oklahoma.

Donations may be made to The Alzheimer's Association or alternatively to a charity of choice.

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Leo Sandoval

July 24, 2021 2:46 PM

I taught with Bill in the Rio Linda district when he first started. He knew how to get everyone’s attention in the faculty room which he often did. Wish I had kept closer contact over these many years.

A Memorial Tree was planted for William Watkins

March 23, 2021 4:20 PM
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