Willie Watkins

Willie Watkins

Proprietor, Willie A. Watkins Funeral Home, Inc.
“Where The Name is Service” For 26 years, the signature style of Willie A. Watkins has allowed Georgians to bid farewell to their loved ones in a way that only he can. Whether it’s the horse drawn carriages, his staff decked out in tuxedoes and top hats, the dove releasing ceremony, or just the sincerity in the service, there’s something about Willie A. Watkins Funeral Home that lets his patrons know everything is going to be alright. Under the leadership of Willie A. Watkins, the funeral home has emphatically lived up to its tagline, “Where The Name is Service.”

Today, Willie Watkins is living his dream by providing 26 years of innovative funeral service. Locating his business in the historic West End community in December 1982, he launched the funeral home at a time when many thought others already had the business sown up on Atlanta’s west side. He proved them wrong, showing them that there was, indeed, room for more. In June 2007, he established a second location in Douglasville, Georgia.

Mr. Watkins started out as a little boy going to funeral after funeral with his grandmother. He remembers how the families would praise the funeral director for doing such a good job on the deceased. They would say, “Sister So and So sure looked good. She looked just like herself.” But in a little boy’s mind, he could only think, “She looked dead to me.”

Nonetheless, as he grew older, he began to like the idea of bringing comfort to families in their time of need. As such, Watkins landed his first job at the Herschel Thornton Mortuary at the age of 14. The younger Watkins later worked in Scottdale, Georgia at Cox Brothers. Attending Morehouse College and receiving formal training at the Gupton-Jones College of Funeral Service, Watkins was well on his way to establishing one of Atlanta’s premier funeral homes.

A liberal giver, Watkins not only gives his best in the funeral service industry, but he is also highly involved in the community. He serves as a Board Member of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) and the West End Medical Center. He is an Executive Board Member for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). Additionally, he is a Member of several professional organizations including West End Merchants Association, 100 Black Men of Atlanta, Butler Street YMCA, Concerned Black Clergy and the Phi Sigma Eta Mortuary Fraternity. And, in appreciation for the community’s patronage of Willie A. Watkins Funeral Home, Watkins hosts an Annual Community Day on Memorial Day, feeding more than 3,000 people.

Today, Willie A. Watkins Funeral Home is known for being among the top funeral homes in the state of Georgia. Families of Coretta Scott King, Whitman Mayo (Grady of the sitcom Sanford and Son), and even commoners have trusted their loved ones to Mr. Watkins. For more information, visit Mr. Watkins online at www.williewatkins.com.