Two days before his death, Watkins, surrounded by about 20 family and friends, was baptized while lying in his hospital bed. Johnson said every time people visited her brother in the hospital, he insisted they pray together.
“He never lost faith,” she said. “He always believed in God and His goodness. He said Jesus would take care of him. He believed in the power of emotional happiness and the power of healing.”
Five doves were released Saturday at the hospital in memory of Watkins.
Last spring, as Watkins prepared to graduate from Monroe, he was interviewed about the cancer and his prognosis.
“You are never promised tomorrow,” he said. “I try to live my life to the fullest.”
Besides his sister, his survivors include his parents, Nicholas Garcia Rose and Alondra Johnson; and brother Cameron Watkins.
Funeral arrangements are pending.