Denise Ellen Watkins

Denise Ellen Watkins, 83, of Saratoga, Wyoming passed away peacefully on Friday, June 10, 2022.

Denise was born to the late Theodore Roosevelt Price and Emma Ruth Hinson in Hollywood, California. She graduated from Hollywood High School, CA and attended Junior college for Bookkeeping & Accounting. Denise and her first husband Charles, lived in California with their 3 children (Julia, Jeff, and Heidi). They moved to Roseburg, Oregon where they soon divorced and she met and married Jimmy Watkins.

Denise worked many accounting jobs until her and her husband, Jim, settled in Saratoga, WY, where she worked for the Saratoga Inn & Resort as their night auditor for 30+ years until her retirement in 2018. She was loved by all co-workers and guests that she met and built many relationships though the years. Denise was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints of Saratoga for many years.

She spent countless hours researching the genealogy of her ancestors for herself and her family. Denise was an avid book reader and loved the great outdoors. She loved to travel and be in the Snowy Mountain Range, visit Yellowstone National Park and take weekend drives with her best friend, Ray Secore with her dog, Josie, of Saratoga, Wyoming. 

Denise loved and owned many horses. She was an avid rider and raised, bred, and showed quarter horses competitively for many years. She belonged to the National Horse Association when she was young, and she had a special place in her heart for, and owned, both rescued horses and dogs throughout her life. Denise was a breast cancer survivor and always had a great sense of humor with any obstacles that came her way. She always helped others see the good and positive in their situations while battling her own.

Her secret code word for "I Love You" was Ugga Mugga. She would tell anyone she loved, Ugga Mugga. This started with her kids, which passed down to her grandkids and great grand kids. In 2018, Denise had a fall that required her to reside at Shepherd of the Valley Rehabilitation Center, Casper Wyoming, until her passing. She was loved and cared for by many, in and outside the care center. Denise is survived by three children, daughter Julia Ferris (Todd Ferris) of Missoula, Montana son Jeff Bateham of Missoula, Montana & daughter Heidi Jenne (Chris Richey) of Casper, Wy. She is also survived by her sister, Paula Jean Johnson (93) of La Porte, Texas.  Denise had 7 grandchildren, Shane Ryan Hillstead, Launa Hackleman (Robby), Talon Jenne, Adrienne Baylor, Tyler (JaCoy) Ferris, Evan Ferris and Raeanne Richey along with 5 great grandchildren, Aydan & Everett Hackleman, Kathryn (Katie) Baylor, Morgan & Gannon Jenne. She is also survived by her horse, Lily. 

Denise is preceded in death by her husband, Jimmy Watkins of Saratoga, Wyoming. Denise's final wishes were to have a private family ceremony on top of her favorite mountain to have her ashes spread where her mother, Emma Ruth and husband, Jim's ashes lay to rest. One final Ugga Mugga to her. 

Friends wishing to honor Denise are invited to make a donation, in her name, to the Reach 4 a Star riding academy or any animal rescue.


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