James “Ted” Watkins

Ted WatkinsTed was born in Portland, Oregon to Jim and Helen Watkins in 1957. Ted attended Christ the King Catholic School and La Salle High School where he excelled academically, athletically and spiritually. He briefly attended Mount Angel Seminary and later earned an undergraduate degree from Portland State University. He went on to graduate from Villanova Law School in 1985.  

Ted was a very successful “Philadelphia lawyer.” While in law school, he helped develop a computer program that enabled large financial institutions to administer cases in various federal jurisdictions. It became the foundation for growing his law firm, Becket & Watkins, from a handful of lawyers to hundreds of lawyers and paralegals. He “retired” from law at age 38 to pursue his dream of opening a bookstore on the Oregon coast.

In 2003, he opened Gold Beach Books, which is the second largest used bookstore in Oregon. He was a fixture in the community, making friends and giving generously to local events and causes.
Ted was a voracious reader, loved fine scotch, occasional cigars and poker.  His travel highlight was taking his dad to Rome to meet Pope John Paul II. He was an excellent storyteller with his quick wit and boisterous voice.

He was a lifelong Catholic whose faith never faltered even when faced with the diagnosis of esophageal cancer in 2014. While his surviving sisters still maintain Ted’s bookstore in Gold Beach, they are offering a selection of his rare books and manuscripts at this auction. Ted enjoyed collecting many genres of literature including Catholicism, American Literature, an extensive collection of Ray Bradbury first editions and art.

Ted was a long-time, valued client of PBA and we are honored to offer his collection in this sale.