Edward Tarry “Bits” Watkins ’40

Edward Tarry “Bits” Watkins ’40 of Houston, Texas, died July 25, 2006. At Davidson, he played football and was a member of Kappa Sigma fraternity. After graduation he joined the Army Air Corps and moved to Texas, serving as a bombardier flight instructor at Brooks Field in San Antonio and the San Angelo Air Base. In addition, he worked with Minneapolis Honeywell to couple the Norton Bombsite to the B-17 autopilot. As a lieutenant colonel, he retired from active duty in 1949. He moved to Houston, where he worked for Merrill Lynch before founding his own brokerage and investment advisory firm, Watkins & Company, Inc. For many years he was active in the Stock and Bond Club of Houston and the University Rotary Club. Most recently, he supported the Embassy Square Foundation in its development of a 40,000-square-foot library and learning facility in his hometown of Henderson, N.C. Additionally, with his friend Thomas Phan, he helped establish a technical school for underprivileged children in Kun-Ming, China. Survivors include his dear friend, Louise West; sons, David Woodward Watkins and Charles Tips Watkins; three grandchildren; many nieces and nephews; his former wife and mother to his children, Hazel Tips John; and daughter-in-law, Jari Watkins. He was preceded in death by his son Edward Tarry Watkins, Jr. and daughter-in-law, Rebecca Beeley Watkins; and his five older siblings.