Noel Lindley Watkins

October 23, 1932January 1, 2019

Noel was born in Alturas, California, to Noel L. and Mildred A. (Kolts) Watkins on October 23, 1932. The family moved to Chico in 1935 where he attended Chico grammer schools and graduated from Chico High School. He attended Chico State College (now U.C.Chico), the University of Seattle and returned to Chico State College to graduate in 1953. While growing up in Chico he worked several jobs, including at a grocery store, and autoparts store and a gun store. He had a strong work ethic from a early age, of which he was very proud. This continued throughout his lifetime. Noel studied law for three years at Boalt Hall School of Law at the University of California at Berkley. He graduated with a law degree and was admitted to practice in 1956. In 1957 he became a partner in the firm of Coffman and Watkins, with the late Rawlins Coffman. Also in 1957 he married Tehama County native Mary Jane Carpenter in Red Bluff. They went on to have two children, Laura Lynn (Lazar) in 1958 and Charles Walter in 1960, both now living in Red Bluff. Noel was elected to the position of Judge of the Justice Court in Red Bluff in 1962. In 1976 he was elected to replace retired Judge Curtiss Wetter as Tehama County Superior Court Judge. It was a position he would hold until his retirement in 1995. During his time on the bench he also served on the California Judicial Council, and sat for the California Appelate Court for a session. After his retirement from Superior Court bench, he opened an office for practice as a private judge for arbitration and mediation, from which he retired in 2018. Noel was a very intelligent and learned man, who supported libraries. He was a voracious reader, and especially enjoyed reading about history, world and national. Other hobbies included hunting and fishing, and gardening, all with his family. In addition to his wife of 61 years and his children, he is survived by a grandson, Trevor Ewald, of San Francisco. Per his request a private family ceremony will be held at a later date. He will be deeply missed.


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Noel Lindley Watkins

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