Henry Carrington “Chip” Watkins Jr.
CREEDMOOR – Chip Watkins, a resident of Creedmoor, NC slipped into eternity early on Saturday morning June 27, 2020 at Duke Regional Hospital following a period of declining health. Chip was a former employee of Redmill Landscape and Nursery in Durham where he was known as “The Plant Man”, having a wide and deep knowledge of landscape plants and trees. Chip was a familiar face to many repeat customers and enjoyed answering questions and discussing the pros and cons of various plants and their place, function, and growth habits in the landscape.
Chip grew up in eastern North Carolina, where he attended school at the Arendell Parrott Academy in Kinston, NC and later the Woodberry Forest School in Virginia. He studied botany at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill exhibiting a unique ability to retain and recall Latin and common plant names. Following school, Chip spent a few years traveling the United States, eventually landing for a while in Wrightsville Beach where he shared an apartment with and became lifetime friends with Rick Blair and Tommy Brafford, working in construction and operating a Good Humor ice cream truck.
Eventually Chip returned to the Durham – Chapel Hill area and followed his botany training, working at The Potted Plant and Durham Hardware. In 1997, encouraged by Claudius Bratts, Chip came to Redmill Nursery in Durham where he spent the next 22 years as the nursery manager, retiring in 2019 due to health reasons. Over his tenure at Redmill, Chip came to consider his Redmill coworkers as family and enjoyed company events and was especially good with remembering fellow employee’s birthdays, always providing cards for all to sign. He will be missed by his Redmill family and the many customers and vendors for which Chip was a familiar face and voice.
Chip was predeceased by his parents Elizabeth Jones Watkins and Henry Carrington Watkins and a brother Thaddeus Watkins. Surviving are cousins Edward Blanchard, Jr. of New York, Whittington Blanchard of Greenville, NC, William Blanchard of Ahoskie, NC, Roger Blanchard of Burlington, NC. and a sister-in-law Rusty Walden of Windsor, NC.
A private memorial tribute will be held for family and friends later this month. Any expressions of remembrance (cards, letters, or pictures only) can be mailed to Redmill Landscape and Nursery, 4517 Red Mill Road, Durham, NC 27704, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.