Jeffery Dean Watkins

Jeffery Dean Watkins

February 2, 1959

January 14, 2013

Jeff was born in Reno, Nevada son of Charles (Chuck) Watkins and Lucy Miller. He was raised and educated in Reno, graduating from Reno High School in 1977. After graduation he worked for Lee Brothers Truck Rental and met his wife Claudia Lee, daughter of Dick Lee and Claudyne Lee, who he married in 1981. They recently celebrated their 30th anniversary.

Jeff owned Custom Aire Mechanical Contractors, where he worked with his son and business partner Brandon.

He served as a Reserve Deputy Sheriff for Washoe County Sheriff's Department for 32 years, where he specialized in hostage negotiations for 14 years.

In addition to work, Jeff was very active in hunting with his son, daughter, son-in-law, and grandchildren. He spent many hours building and racing his drag race car with the Watkins Family Racing Team and belonged to the West Coast Top Sportsmen Association.

He joined Reno Rodeo Association in 2001 and was a Reno Rodeo Director and on the Finance Committee. His passion was Special Kids Rodeo, where he was Chairman for 6 years. He also was involved in Steer Decorating and Mutton Busting. On the Security Committee he was known to many as the Rodeo Sheriff.

He is survived by his wife Claudia; his three children, Ericka Smith (Matt), Brandon (Samantha), and Gabby, and his canine kids, Stroker, Tobie, Gus and Tuele; his grandchildren Ashlee, Wyatt, and Maddee Smith, and Justin Jayme; his mother Opal Watkins; his brother Randy Watkins (Heidi) and nephew Nicholas; sister Donna Kusick (Wayne); and nieces Allison and Chrissy; sister Tammy Davis (Brandon); brother-in-law Michael Lee (Moniquia) and nephews Dustin and Gerald.

He was a devoted friend and family man and he will be forever in our hearts. A celebration of life, followed by a reception, will be held on Saturday, January 19th, at 11:00 am, at the Reno Elk's Lodge, 597 Kumle Ln. Reno. Casual attire, no black.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Jeff's name to:

Living Stones Church, 445 S. Virginia St. Reno, NV 89501

Washoe County Honorary Deputies Sheriff's Association, 911 Parr Blvd. Reno, NV 89512

Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund, 101 Pro Rodeo Dr., Colorado Springs, CO 80919

Online condolences may be expressed in the Book of Memories at the website


Published in Reno Gazette-Journal on Jan. 17, 2013