Allen Harrison Watkins
Allen Harrison Watkins
  • May 28, 1937 - March 16, 2017
  • North Carolina

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Allen Harrison "Buddy" Watkins, Jr., of Kitty Hawk, N.C., was surrounded by loving family and friends on Thursday, March 16, 2017 as he passed away at Beacon Place Hospice House in Greensboro, N.C. after a noble battle with Alzheimer's Disease.

Born to Allen Harrison Watkins of Greensboro, North Carolina and Elizabeth Barnes Adams Watkins of High Point, North Carolina, on May 28, 1937, Buddy was reared in Sedgefield with his late brothers John Adams Watkins of Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina, and David Christopher Watkins of Atlanta, Georgia. As a boy, he began playing golf at the Donald Ross Golf Course at Sedgefield Country Club where he developed a passion for golf that lasted throughout his life. His talent and ability as a scratch golfer took him throughout the Southeast to compete in and win many matches. Buddy didn't ever like losing, but finishing as runner-up to the famed Billy Joe Patton in the 1961 Carolinas Amateur Championship was one of his most proud accomplishments.

Buddy relished in daring adventures in his youth, and his travels took him to Hawaii, Paris, Bermuda, Lebanon, and Cuba, among other far-flung places, where he had quite the tales to share upon his return home. Notably, he found himself in the midst of Castro's takeover of Cuba, as he was one of the last guests at the Havana Hilton other than Castro and his militia; he got out of the country in the nick of time.

Buddy worked at Triangle Hosiery in New York, but city life wasn't his thing, as he longed for the outdoors, fishing, hunting, the sand, and the water. In the 1960's, Buddy moved to his beloved Outer Banks, as he had been vacationing there since the 1930's. His parents built a beach cottage in Kill Devil Hills in the 1930's because of his father's passion for aviation. Buddy loved this beautiful, rugged place and its warmhearted, genuine people until the end of his life, often saying there was no other place in the world he would rather be.

Buddy was well versed in many subjects, was a talented prankster, had drinking chops to be envied, loved animals, cooking, flying airplanes, loud music, card games, golf, and football. Provoking Redskins fans at the beach by becoming a die-hard Cowboys fan was one of his greatest pleasures. He had a quick wit, a sharp tongue, a reckless temper, a mischievous smile, an infectious laugh, a daring spirit, and a true zeal for life. Underneath his enigmatic and sometimes gruff disposition was a kindhearted, generous, loving, and gentle man, adored by his family and friends.

Buddy is survived by his devoted wife of forty three years, Margaret Rose Starling Watkins, whose steadfast and enduring love was the greatest blessing of his life; daughter Kitty Watkins Sydnor of Greensboro, North Carolina, son-in-law Will Sydnor, and grandchildren William and Hampton, whose spunk and personalities delighted him; son Douglas Hunter Watkins, of Brooklyn, New York, and his wife Yuki, granddaughter Abigail; sister-in-law Betty Watkins of Atlanta, Georgia, niece Stewart Watkins Forsbrand of Atlanta, Georgia, her husband Anders, their children Alexander and Margaux; cousin Jere Ayers and his wife Elsa; cousin Betty Hicks and her husband Bill.

There will be a private graveside service for family on Monday in Kitty Hawk. The family will welcome friends at Duck Woods Country Club in Kitty Hawk on Monday, March 20 at 12:30pm to celebrate his life. There will also be a gathering for friends and family in Greensboro at the home of his daughter, Kitty, on Thursday, March 23 from 5:30pm-7:30pm.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Beacon Place Hospice House of Greensboro, North Carolina, 2500 Summit Avenue, Greensboro, North Carolina, 27405.