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Donald E. Watkins

Obituary for Donald E. Watkins

February 15, 1934 - April 23, 2017
San Antonio, Texas | Age 83


Donald E. Watkins was born to Ted and Edna Caffey Watkins in Encinal, Texas on February 15, 1934. He grew up in Weslaco, in the Rio Grande Valley, graduating from Weslaco High School in 1952. From the time he picked up his first trumpet in fifth grade, music became his primary focus and a continuing love in his life. After playing in the Texas All State Band, he went on to complete his Bachelor of Music degree on a scholarship/fellowship. Then he received an induction to play in the Ft. Ord Army Band in California. As a young man, Donald made extra cash after hours by playing at Officers' Clubs, high school and college dances and various "gigs" that came along wherever he was. While in college, he occasionally played with the San Angelo and San Antonio Symphonies when called to fill in. One of his most popular endeavors was the creation of The Border Brass, a busy group he organized during the Herb Alpert Tijuana Brass heydays, playing while serving as band director in Eagle Pass and San Benito High Schools. In 1967 he moved his family to San Antonio to work for High School Music Service, selling band instruments in and around the area. He became the owner from 1978 until his retirement in 1997. Donald had many and varied interests. He read voraciously and accumulated a great collection of books, poems, and songs of every kind. Another great enjoyment in his life was fishing. As a young boy, he and his friends would fish at Laguna Madre and Padre Island (before the causeway, high-rises, and restaurants of today). They would fish all weekend, catching the last ferry home before closing hour Sunday night. He loved saltwater fishing, always seeking the huachinango, but he also enjoyed the Texas Freshwater lakes, rivers and streams. He broadened his fly fishing experiences by taking the opportunity to go with friends to other states for new varieties of fish found in other settings. What Donald held most dear was his family. Because he was an only child, as an adult he reveled in the time spent with his two sons and their friends and in visiting with cousins at family reunions.

Surviving him are his children with Mary Jo Watkins, their oldest son Greg Watkins, who owns High School Music Service in San Antonio, and Keith Watkins, in Albuquerque, NM. Also surviving are his three granddaughters, Nicole Rae Watkins of Austin, Charlotte Anne Watkins and Andie Leigh Watkins both of San Antonio; his loving cousins and countless friends.

A graveside service at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery will be held on Friday, May 26, 2017 at 2:00 P.M.. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to San Antonio Pets Alive, P.O. Box 830006, San Antonio, TX 78283.

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Porter Loring Mortuary North

2102 North Loop 1604 East
San Antonio, TX 78232
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