I remember walks on the beach and silent nights when words were not necessary, because the love that we shared was understood. I remember a father who loved his two sons beyond measure. Our sons grew up with a father who was at every football game, every event of significance, and at church every Sunday morning when he was not working. I remember a man who loved his grandson, Parker, as the apple of his eye. I know in heaven he is beyond himself with joy as he sees Liam, the newest addition to our family, snuggling in his mom’s and dad’s arms as they seek to love him as tenderly and wonderfully as Dad cared for his own sons.
I remember a man who stayed with my mother through her cancer treatments at MD Anderson while at the same time trying to study for the next promotional exam. I remember the man that built his own mother a house, worked with skilled hands to plant gardens for her, and gave her the best life possible as she faced her own life-ending battle with this same disease. I remember a man who was everything to his family and friends. I remember a man who loved God, lived courageously, and was known by everyone as a man of integrity and faith. He was fun, he was loved, and our hearts are filled with the incredible joy that he lived his life well.
My husband served with courage, commitment, and character with the Houston Fire Department during his 34-year distinguished career. Graduating from the HFD Fire Academy at Houston Community College in October 1978, Danny pursued excellence throughout his career in his roles of firefighter, engineer operator, junior captain, senior captain, and district chief. After his career with HFD, he was given the opportunity to share his passion, experience, and love for firefighting with a new family of firefighters as the fire chief for the City of San Benito. However, in November and December of 2020, COVID began a rampant attack upon the firefighters of his department, leading ultimately to my husband’s line-of-duty diagnosis of this disease. COVID overtook his strength, but not his courage. His “last call” came just after midnight on January 12, 2021.
Chief Danny Dean Watkins was a man of courage, commitment, and honor. The light of his life continues to shine in the lives of those he loved—his family, friends, and most of all his beloved brotherhood of firefighters. For this, we shall be forever grateful.