He was a member of the Jackson High School Class of 1977. He was a U.S. Army veteran and received numerous awards and commendations, including the Army Commendation Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal. He was an employee of Norfolk Railroad.
Survivors include his wife, Angelika Watkins, Chattanooga, Tenn.; one son, Jerome Bryant Watkins, New Orleans, La.; one daughter, Latoya Watkins, Chattanooga, Tenn.; his mother, Margaret Pernell, Jackson; four brothers, Douglas Pernell Jr., Larry Pernell, Wendell Watkins and Roderick Pernell, all of Jackson; two sisters, Gloria Beck, Shelia Pernell.
The service was Oct. 31 at 11 a.m. at Mount Olive No. 2 Baptist Church in Jackson. Burial with military honors was in the St. Peter Cemetery in Allen. Jackson Memorial Funeral Home directed.