September 15, 1957 – October 31, 2022
On October 31, 2022, Dr. Paul Eric Watkins passed away at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York after a protracted illness. At the age 65, his brother and sister lovingly kissed him goodbye as he set off for his final and most desirable destination, to live eternally with God in Heaven.
Dr. Paul Watkins was the youngest of three children born to Dr. Flotilla Watkins and Dr. Nellouise Watkins. Born in Roanoke, Virginia, he grew up in Durham and Greensboro, NC. Paul graduated from high school from Oak Ridge Military Academy in 1975 as an honor student and basketball star. He completed Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee, in 1979, graduating with honors in Biology.
During college he became a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Beta Kappa Chi Scientific Honor Society, and the internationally prestigious Phi Beta Kappa Academic Honor Society. His graduate studies included matriculation at UNC-Chapel Hill, Morehouse College, Meharry Medical College School of Dentistry, and the NYU College of Dentistry Subspecialty in Orthodontics.
Dr. Watkins practiced Dentistry and Orthodontics for 35 years. He was a community leader having served as the president of the Greensboro Medical Society as had his father before him. For numerous years, Paul sponsored community fundraisers to include support of the Saturday Academy which was a math and science tutorial program for young children in Greensboro. The inception and leadership of this program was provided by Dr. Nellouise Watkins and Dr. Nan Manuel. Paul financially supported this program for more than 3 decades.
Paul’s commitment to personal fitness resulted in his having run 270 marathons internationally. He even participated in the New York City Iron Man competition. His final competition was in 2017 at 60 years of age.
As a Christian, Paul provided missionary dental work in numerous parts of the world to include Haiti, Ethiopia, and Jamaica for more than three decades. At the time of his illness, Dr. Watkins maintained a practice in New York City.
Paul was preceded in death by his two loving parents: Drs. Flotilla and Nellouise D. Watkins. He is survived by his brother and wife, Dr. Flotillo and Helen Watkins of Greensboro, NC; sister and husband: Dr. Sharon Cooper and Donald Brooks of Fayetteville, NC; former spouse Dr. E. Cheryl Ponder; nieces and families: Tresca Nellouise and Jay Pennington and Sunni Brooke Madison; nephews: Quentin Christopher Brown and Flotilla Bruce Watkins III; great-nieces: Roxanna Watkins, Jayda Pennington, and Gianna Madison; great-nephews: Treston Pennington, Vincent Madison, Terrence Lewandowski, and Bryson Watkins; a host of dear cousins and close friends.
Funeral services for Dr. Paul E. Watkins were held on Saturday, November 12, at St. James Presbyterian Church in Greensboro, N.C.