Local former GOP chairman’s wife dies

Published 2:34 pm Friday, May 4, 2012

Dona Clair Jackson Watkins of Picayune passed away Wednesday.

She is survived by her husband of 45 years, Cecil Lealon Watkins; her sister, Peggy H. Anderson; nieces: Amy Allen, Julie Hill, Martha Jones and Roslyn Windham; and one brother-in-law, Brooks Watkins.

She was preceded in death by her parents, James H. Jackson and Johnie Cunningham Jackson.

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Watkins was a native of Jackson where she worked as administrative assistant with the Welfare Department. Upon her arrival in Picayune, she became a member of First Baptist Church of Picayune and the First Baptist church Lamplighter’s Sunday School Class. She was also an active member and treasurer of the Pearl River County Republican Women of Greater Picayune.

Her husband, Cecil says, “She was the love of my life. I will miss her sorely. I know for a fact that she is home with the Lord and right now she is asking Jesus all those questions that I couldn’t answer. I look forward to going home to join her and hug her neck one day,” said her husband, former county Republican Party chairman.

“She was a very dedicated member of the Republican Women. She was a fabulous member, great treasurer and irreplaceable. We certainly will deeply miss her within our organization. I wish her family the best,” says Bonnie Holland, Pearl River County Republican Women of Greater Picayune president.

Jackie Delaney, Watkin’s neighbor and also a member of the Republican Women, says, “She was just a fabulous person. We have served for ten years together in the Republican Women’s organization and she has been the treasurer for many years. She was a wonderful neighbor, friend and Christian lady. She and Cecil were a loving couple; he lived to take care of her. She was active in her church and in the Republican party. She was very courageous and strong.”

Visitation will be held Saturday, May 5, from 10 to 11 a.m. at First Baptist Church on Goodyear Boulevard. Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. with Dr. Keith Warden officiating the service. Burial will be in Lakewood Memorial Cemetery, 6000 Clinton Boulevard, in Jackson, at 4 p.m. under the direction of McDonald Funeral Home.

The family asks that memorials be made to either The Gideons International or the REG fund at First Baptist Church of Picayune, P.O. Box 477, Picayune, MS 39466.