Former Dallas City Secretary Deborah Watkins, Who ‘epitomized Professionalism,' Dies

Former Dallas City Secretary Deborah Watkins, who was known for her professionalism and fairness, died early Tuesday after a year-and-a-half-long fight with uterine cancer. She was 66.Watkins worked for the city for 37 years. The City Council hired her as its top record-keeper and election-runner in 2006. Her son Kurt Watkins, 36, said city secretary was the top City Hall job his mother wanted early in her career -- likely because "it was an attainable job for a black female in the 1970s.""That was what she wanted to get and she got there, and she served admirably," Kurt Watkins said.Deborah Watkins retired in the summer of 2011. Afterward, she worked as the interim city secretary in Ferris, served as vice chair of the city's Ethics Advisory Commission and earned her Ph.D. in education from Texas A&M-Commerce. Kurt Watkins said his mother had hoped to start a second career as a Dallas County Community College professor.Former and current city officials remembered Watkins fondly. Former Mayor Laura Miller said the former city secretary was "a one-in-a-million person" who people didn't want to cross simply because she was too nice.  Continue reading...

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