Thermopolis Independent Record - Your source for news in Hot Springs County

Joseph Billy 'Joe' Watkins


September 12, 2019

Joseph Billy "Joe" Watkins, 58, passed away Friday, September 6, 2019, as the result of a motorcycle accident north of Thermopolis.

Born October 20, 1960, in Grand Junction, Colo., he was the son of Duane and Rose (Voss) Watkins. The family moved to Thermopolis where Joseph attended school. Raised on a ranch, he had a special kind of love for horses. Following his graduation from Hot Springs County High School he joined the Army National Guard. After boot camp he furthered his education at Laramie County Community College and received his degree in Horse Management. Moving to California, he trained horses alongside some well-known trainers.

Joe loved the outdoors, going fishing and hunting as well as feeling the wind of freedom on his motorcycle which he rode every spare moment. He returned to Thermopolis in 2009. For the past two years Joe was assisting his parents on their farm.

On October 10, 2017, he married his best friend and soul mate, Bobbi Jo Taylor in Worland, Wyo. With this union he was blessed with 3 stepchildren and a grandson, Anthony, who lit the eyes of his grandpa. As Joe would say "It was a long hard ride, but it was worth every second."

He is survived by his parents; wife, Bobbi Jo of Thermopolis; sisters, Vivian (Curtis) Rigsby and children of Colorado and Pam Watkins and children of Washington; stepchildren, Trace (Witni) Taylor and Jesse Taylor, Chandra Taylor, all of Thermopolis; grandson; numerous nieces and a nephew, and his beloved dog, Ellie May.

He was preceded in death by his grandparents; Uncle Warren; and many others.

Memorial services will be Wed., September 18, at 11 a.m. at the Risen Son Baptist Church with Pastor Brian Johnson officiating.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Bobbi Jo Watkins, 491 Hwy. 20 N., Thermopolis, 82443.

Mortimore Funeral Home is assisting the family and messages may be offered at


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