Ted Watkins, R.I.P.

I never met Ted Watkins, best known around these parts for his long service as president of the Dallas chapter of the NAACP. But I do know his wife Deborah (Dallas’ city secretary); one of his sons, Kurt (an account exec at Laurey Peat + Associates and the head of the communications committee for the Dallas County Young Democrats); and his nephew, Craig, the Dallas County DA. I’m sorry for their loss. An obituary from Kurt is after the jump.

Dallas — Theodore (Ted) Thomas Watkins was born on April 19, 1951 in Tyler, Texas to Edward Watkins and Jimmie Lee Thompson.  Watkins, age 57, passed away on November 11, 2008 with family by his side at Baylor Hospital in Dallas. A lifelong resident of Dallas, Watkins graduated from James Madison High School and earned a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of North Texas.

Watkins married Deborah Ann Phillips, of Dallas, on December 22, 1972.

Inspired by close friend and confidante, civil rights pioneer and Dallas city council member Juanita Craft, Watkins began a long career of politics and social activism in the 1970s.  Watkins worked for Bob Bullock in the State Comptroller’s Office and was one of the longest serving presidents of the Dallas Chapter of the NAACP in the 1970s and 1980s.  While the president of NAACP, Watkins worked on numerous community issues, including the creation of a minority congressional district — which he took all the way to the Supreme Court.

In the 1990s, Watkins became a successful business owner and recently retired after owning restaurants in Dallas and Arlington.

Watkins is survived by his wife, Deborah, sons Ryan Thomas Watkins and Kurt Thomas Watkins and grandson Tyler Thomas Watkins.

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Comments

5 responses to “Ted Watkins, R.I.P.”

  1. Anne says:

    Didn’t he have a hamburger joint next to Tom Spicer’s store on Fitzhugh? Just down from Jimmy’s?

  2. Dwight says:

    I stopped in restaurant a few times. It was always fun to have a conversation with Ted.

  3. Erica Annise says:

    Our prayers and thoughts are with the family. it’s an awesome thing to have had a such a great man in your lives. Rejoice in his life…it’s worth doing. God Bless.

  4. Charles W. Richardson, CPA says:

    I counted Ted as one of my dearest and oldest friends, I am so sorry to learn of his passing.

    A man with a more level head on his shoulders than Ted Watkins is a truly uncommon commodity.