James (Jim) K. Watkins

I was born in Grand Junction, Colorado, February 14, 1943, to my parents, Elma Watkins and Paul Watkins.  I grew up in Fruita, Colorado, and graduated from Fruita High School.  After graduation I enlisted in the United States Navy in June 1961.  I was sent to Washington D.C. where I was assigned to the Naval Depot for about one and a half  years.  Then I was sent to Newport, Rhode Island to attend supply school. ( I was told that you should not volunteer for any assign any duties.)  The Chief got all of us and asked us if anyone wanted to volunteer for an assignment.

The Chief told all of us that the assignment would be good duty.  I raised my hand and told the Chief that I learned to use the typewriter while in high school and can type about 55 words per minute. Well, it helped me as I got more land duty that lasted one year before I had to be sent to Japan on a supply ship.  

The San Joaquin County was an old ship that was converted to be used as a supply ship to be tied to a buoy usually away from the docks.

About every six to eight months, we would sail from Iwakuni Japan, to get necessary items and then to Guam. My tour of duty was over in June 1965.

In June of 1966 I got married to a young lady that had two beautiful boys.  Later that year I joined the Grand Junction, Colorado police department.  I liked the department, however the money was very low especially with four to feed. Our daughter was born a year and two months later.

 I went to California because my brother-in-law suggested that I could make more than triple my wages, so I took several tests and was told that I would be notified in about a month if I would be given a job or not.   I went home to Colorado to wait for a yes or no.   This was not long, as I got the job in three weeks. 

I got the job and worked there for ten years and left to go back to Idaho and soon after I was offered a job in Alaska.

 I got to Alaska in the morning and went to work that night.  Linda and I were in Alaska for four years while I was on the Police Department and Linda was the manager of a Savings and Loan.

While in Alaska I made several contacts and some of them came to Church. I did perform a wedding for one of my friends, and I baptized a friend in Ketchikan. 

There were several church members in Ketchikan that that we were blessed to meet in their home.  We had to fly from Wrangell down as we did not have ferrys to ride.

We were privileged to have members of the Priesthood from Idaho and Independence visit us. Apostle Phillip Caswell ordained me to the office of Priest April 5, 1983.  Elders Carl Engelbrecht and Wayne Rogers to the office of Elder June 17, 1984.

While I was on duty, I got my back injured, and after several months, I was relieved of duty.  While the board members were trying to make a decision if I was going to be retired, I spent about three months teaching 7th grade history in the local school.

When the department finally made the decision to give me a disability retirement, Linda and I moved to Twin Falls, Idaho.

I decided to go to the University of Idaho to study geography.  After graduation I was hired to teach secondary history.  Linda and I both found jobs at the East Minico Middle School in Rupert, Idaho, where we have lived for almost 29 years.

We became members of the Remnant Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in 2000, and on April 8,2001, I was ordained to the office of Seventy by Apostles Robert Ostrander and Steve Church. 

We retired in June 2009 and two weeks after school was out, I was asked to go to Belize.  Linda and I packed up our clothing, necessary books etc., and left for Belize.  Linda and I stayed in Belize for two years and made many new friends and baptized several. We also went to Mexico and Guatemala. 

We returned to our home in April 2011 where I resumed my duties as Seventy.