Jesse “Gene” Watkins


Mr. Jesse “Gene” Watkins, age 71, of Hendersonville, North Carolina, passed away on Friday, April 29, 2022 at Four Seasons Elizabeth House in Flat Rock, North Carolina, following a 1 ½ year battle with cancer.  Born in Buncombe County, North Carolina on October 21, 1950, he was the son of the late Billy and Sara Hinson Watkins.


In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by two brothers, William Cicero Watkins and Richard Clark Watkins.


Following many years as a member of United Auto Worker (UAW), Gene had retired from Ford Motor Company.  He was an avid fisherman who enjoyed collecting antiques, playing checkers and tending to his yard.  Gene absolutely loved staying in touch with his granddaughter, Zoey, if it was talking to her on the phone or by sending her a card.


He is survived by two daughters, Aimee Elizabeth Watkins and Rachel Renee Watkins (Matt); three grandchildren, Brent, Chase and Zoey; one brother, Charles David Watkins (Tammy); and numerous nieces and nephews.


A gathering of family and friends will be held on Wednesday, May 04, 2022 between 2:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. in the Kirby Memorial Chapel of Shuler Funeral Home in Hendersonville.


In lieu of flowers, those wishing to make a memorial donation in Gene’s memory are asked to consider, American Cancer Society, P.O. Box 22478, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma or by visiting


The family wishes to extend a special thank you to Gene’s brother, David, for the extraordinary care and assistance he provided to Gene during his final journey.



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