Gary Watkins

OA Online News

Judge Gary Watkins dies at 57 in Odessa

By Jennifer Edwards
Odessa American

A distinguished and beloved lawmaker turned judge has died after nearly a month of treatments at Houston?s MD Anderson Cancer Center.
Judge Gary Lynn Watkins died Sunday in Odessa at age 57.
Watkins distinguished himself in many areas of public service including six years as a state representative.
He was also a county judge from 1977-1982. Most recently, he sat as the 244th district judge.

Gary Watkins’ run for State Senate was my adolescent introduction to politics, and I donated several dozen hours to sign making and installing, etc. I remember him as a genuinely decent man who didn’t really want to be a state Senator, but felt it was his duty to serve, quite a remarkable approach to elected office.

I haven’t had any contact with him since the campaign, and was saddened to hear about his loss. He was a good man, and the world needs all of those it can get.


  1. My uncle was president of UT for many of the years of this effort to make UTPB into a “real” university.

    I remember him speaking very highly of Rep. Watkins both as a civil servant and an acquiantance. Both he and Sen. John Montford helped to finish what took nearly 20 years to do.