Donald Edward Watkins

May 30, 1938September 5, 2017

Donald Edward Watkins passed away on September 5, 2017 at Atria East Cobb in Marietta, Georgia. Don will be lovingly remembered and greatly missed by his son, James Edward (Jay) Watkins III. Don was born in DeKalb County on May 30, 1938, to Mary and Jim Watkins, both deceased. He graduated from Southwest DeKalb High School in 1958 after earning a military scholarship to Auburn University. After graduation, Don entered the United States Navy, where he was honored to be one of the first four pilots selected to fly the F-4 Phantom jet from an aircraft carrier in the Vietnam War. After serving 5 years in the Navy, Don became a pilot with Delta Air Lines. He was a very happy member of the Delta family for over 30 years before his retirement in 1997. He and Jay continued to travel extensively together to many beautiful places, his favorite being Hawaii. Don wished to be cremated and have his ashes scattered in Hawaiian waters by Jay and others who loved him. This will be his memorial service.


Donald Edward Watkins

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Helen Hagerty

November 2, 2018

I am so sorry. I just learned of Don's passing. I will forever be grateful for Don's honesty and friendship. He flew with my father in Vietnam and was in his squadron, VF-96, when my father was shot down and killed in April 1965. Thanks to Don being so forthcoming, my family was finally able to piece together the tragic events of that day and lay my father to rest.

If anyone knows how to get in touch with his son, I would most appreciate it.
Thank you,
Helen Murphy Hagerty

September 20, 2017

I first met Don in Navy Preflight in June 1960, then hung out with him in some of San Diego's finer establishments during our Navy years. We again became close after I moved to Atlanta as a Delta pilot in 1980, including many evenings as The Barnstormers, ace trivia team at was was then the Phoenix Brewpub at the Prado, with the team often including Don's son Jay and my son Brett. Don was a great friend for 57 years - my condolences to Jay and the rest of his family.

Larry Webster

September 20, 2017

I was also a Delta pilot, an AU grad. and flew off carriers, so Don and shared a lot. I have fond memories of our many conversations.

Gary Ritter

September 20, 2017

Aloha, Don
moe i ka maluhia

Bill Pantesco

September 20, 2017

Don was an excellent pilot and a fine gentleman. We flew together often and would carpool to the airport occasionally since we lived in the same neighborhood. Our condolences to his loved ones. He will be missed.

Bill Feldman

September 20, 2017

I flew copilot for Don on several DC9 trips. It was always a pleasure to fly with him. He was a terrific pilot and a great traveling companion. He was always so positive, and had an interest in everything. He seemed to really cherish each moment.

George Wood

September 19, 2017

We were classmates in Delta's initial training back in 1965. His enthusiasm for his new career and companionship after class greatly offset the rigors of the program.

Reuben Smith

September 19, 2017

Don and I were in the same pilot class at delta. A class act and a great man. My thoughts and prayers are with the family.Capt. Reuben SmithRet. 767 Capt.

Harry Ballance

September 19, 2017

Don and I were too close in seniority to have ever flown together, but I will always remember him as one of those people who made my career at Delta so memorable. He was a great guy.

Dwain Maxwell

September 16, 2017

Don was a high school friend .... well thought of by all who knew him .... I remember him as an "A" student at Southwest DeKalb ....World was a better place because he was here .... May GOD bless the family ...DBM