June 17, 1932 ~ June 12, 2020

Born in: Osceola, AR
Resided in: Redondo Beach, CA

James Clifford Watkins was born in Osceola, Arkansas on June 17, 1932. He died in Torrance, California on June 12, 2020. Jay was 87 years old and resided in Redondo Beach, California for 66 years. He passed away from Covid-19.

Jay was always hard working as a child, he picked apples in Washington state. Jay grew up in Washington state. At the age of 13 he started doing auto mechanic work in Umatilla, Oregon. Jay served in the Army and ended up in Manhattan Beach where he met the love of his live. Jay was owner of J&D Automotive and J&D Towing (AAA, Manhattan Beach PD and CHP), Jay would still be working today if able. Jay was an avid motorcycle rider and taught his wife & children how to ride. Mom and dad drove across the United States on their bike. After several crashes, Bobby started riding her own bike. Jay spent most weekends at the Rock Store in Malibu Canyon.

Jay was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 2009 at the age of 76. Dad (Jay) and Mom (Bobby) were sealed for all eternity at the Los Angeles Temple on October 8, 2010.

James Watkins was married to Barbara Saunders (his third wife) for 54 years. Mother Edith Ardell Chrisman, Brother Milford (Mert) Watkins, 3 sons Bradley J. Watkins, Randy (Jisica) Watkins, Clifford (Peggy) Watkins, 2 daughters Tamara Jo Humes, Shari Lynn (Joe Fitzgerald) Watkins, 5 grandchildren, 7 great grandchildren and 5 great-great grandchildren.

Jaybird lived his life at full throttle.

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Memories Timeline

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  1. candle 1You are the best Father ever.
    All the smiles all the winks. I’m going to miss you everyday. We will all be together soon. I have never lived without you. What will I do. I love you Daddy. Will miss you til we meet again. You can walk again you can keep up with Mom. Give everyone hugs.💜🌹🌺⚘🌷Love you Shari

  2. candle 6We had lots of good times with Jay and the car events. He was always ready to help with a broken car. RIP. 💐

  3. candle 5I still can’t believe you are gone. It just doesn’t seem right. You should be here so we could wish you happy Father’s Day. So we can spend the day with you. I hate knowing you won’t be here, but I know you are enjoying being with Mom again and the rest of your love ones who were there to greet you. Please give everyone a big hug for me. Love you very much.

  4. candle 7Dad, I’m gonna miss you and the good times we had on all the trips and times spent down at your shop. I love you, and truely feel that knowing you made a better husband to Shari, and a better man by the example that you were. Until we meet again, your loving son in law, Joe.

  5. candle 4We are so very happy that we got to know and love my dad. We will miss just setting around his shop or at home and just visiting and watching people as our dad had so many great friends. We will always love my dad.

  6. candle 1Thank you for taking me on all those trips and adventures so long ago I enjoyed every minute. And for selling me my first car.

  7. candle 7Jim was a good man that I had the honor of meeting when I served in his ward as a young missionary. He was loved by his family and everyone who met him. God bless you Jim.

  8. candle 4Jay was a special kind of guy. He could always make me laugh and put a smile on my face. I will always remember his smile and the way he limped. Thank you dad for all the special memories. Thank you for always being there for Cliff and I in good times and bad. I will always love and miss you and mom both.

  9. candle 4Jay, you Barbara and your kids are some of my favorite memories growing up. Dirt bikes, Ascot, camping, Clear Lake vacations with our boats….Wow did we have fun! I was lucky to have my childhood with so many adventures and y’all as friends. You will be missed but never forgotten. Hug my Daddy for me. I’m sure y’all are bench racing right now. Love, Jo Ann & Doug

  10. candle 1His obituary sums up his life.there are hundreds of stories of my Dad. Wish I could of put them all up. I love you Dad

  11. candle 1Jay,
    We’re gonna miss you so much. I’m trying to list all the ways we were influenced by you. You helped me fix my Street Hot Rod, Dirt Bike Riding and I met Shelley through you guys in Ballerat, Death Valley, Water Skiing, Camping, Racing the Ski Boats. Riding bikes down the Strand and Dinner at Scotty’s. You Sure were a Big Part of our Lives. We Love Ya Jay. God Bless you.

  12. candle 8You will be missed by all that knew you. I loved are once’s ever two years smog and lunch . Say Hi to Bobbie for me

  13. candle 6Tamara and family.

    I am sorry for your loss sending my love during this difficult time

    Tabitha Barrod

  14. candle 4Jay was always so kind and giving. My husband when he was working would go and meet him for lunch at Del Taco about once a week. We will miss his smile. He would sit on the back row of the Manhattan chapel when Redondo III met there and he had his smile! I know you have busy with family reunions on the other side of the veil!

  15. candle 7Jay,

    You were so loved and always will be. You will never be forgotten. Rice high in the sky with Bobbie. We love you. Cindy, Jerry, and family!

  16. candle 1Carlos and I send our condolences to you and your family, Tammy. May his light shine on you and your family today and forever. Sending our Love
    Shaun and Carlos Salvador

  17. candle 6Sending Angel to help you on your way to meet your wife in Heaven, she is by the Pearly Gates. Waiting for you. May you Rest in Peace

  18. candle 7Jay, you were like a dad and a big brother to me. I mowed your grass when I was 16, you helped me buy my first motorcycle at the age of 18. We rode all over from weekends to long trips. We all would go to Jawbone to ride our dirt bikes. We all went to Clear Lake for 20 years together. It breaks my heart that I can’t come to your service because of my health problems. RIP ps, say hi to Bobby and Sharon

  19. candle 1Jay Watkins, you will be missed sir. Lots of memories with your family, vacations, his shop, and of course the drags. RIP Jay

  20. candle 7Sending lots of prayers, love and healing to Tammy, the family and her friends during this very difficult time. From all the stories that I’ve heard Tammy tell, her Father was a wonderful man, husband, father, friend and Soldier and anyone that had the chance to meet him was blessed.

  21. candle 7Whatever Jay rode or drove it was wide open, I am very fortunate to have had Jay in my life. The stories I have shared with others about Jay and I are priceless! He was a Man’s Man, and bowed to no won. If you traveled with Jay you feared nobody! Farewell my friend “Jaybird” thanks for the memories!!!

  22. candle 7The more I remember my times with “Jaybird” the memories keep coming! Jay & his partner Dean were well known in the Drag Racing community. Some of us that worked there or hung out, remained friends for over 50 years! Some of the racers I met there, I still work with today. It was a “Magical” time in life, that will never be again.

  23. candle 4Great Times with Jay. I will miss him. I first met Jay when I was ~17 years old thru my brother Rich (maybe that is why he always called me “Richie”) at J&D Service, over 50 years ago. Riding dirt bikes in Frazier Park, Jawbone Canyon and Red Rock Canyon , Jay riding that dang ‘441’ Beezer… Taking bike tours to Yosemite. Fun Times. I even worked for Jay pumping gas and light mechanics at the Mobil Station while going to college. More Great Times. So many memories. Jay had a big hand in my interest in cars, antique cars, which I still have to this day. All Great Times… So many memories. Miss you, Jay.

  24. candle 8Dear Jay, You made the biggest difference in my life, working
    with you in the Towing industry was not a job, it was fun.
    You were the kindest and understanding boss I have ever had.
    It was a one time deal, I speak for Walter,Lobo,Randy and the rest
    of the crew. We all will miss you, the man with a smile.

    From John. Gardena Towing gardenatowing@hotmail.com

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