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Republican stalwart Watkins dead at 66


Tucker Carrington Watkins IV of Randolph, one-time chair of the 5th District Republican Party and GOP party faithful who worked on the campaigns of Virgil Goode and George Allen, died Saturday at Halifax Regional Hospital.

 Watkins was born in Halifax County on Sept. 30, 1946 and was 66-years-old.

He was the son of the late Dr. William Randolph Watkins and the late Ruth Porter Watkins.

Watkins was a member of First Presbyterian Church. He attended Virginia Military Institute and served honorably in the U.S. Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart.

He was very active in the Richmond Jaycees for many years, was past chair of the 5th District Republican Party and served as Senator George Allen’s field director for Southside Virginia.

Watkins, who recently had been ill and hospitalized, had a few good weeks at home and got out to see friends, according to a family member.

Watkins attended U. S. Senate candidate George Allen’s campaign stop in South Boston on Sept. 24 as part of Allen’s Virginia Voices Tour.

From his wheelchair, Watkins made brief remarks in support of Allen’s candidacy.

Prior to his death Saturday, Watkins had already voted in the upcoming election, according to his sister, Ruth Porter Watkins.

“We’re all saddened, he was involved in so many things,” said Virginia State Senator Frank Ruff. “He was an outgoing person who made friends easily.  He enjoyed conversation and debate. Everyone who knows him feels a great loss right now.”

Del. James Edmunds II said Sunday, “Tucker’s heart really lay in Mt. Laurel and Clover, but he had the best interests of the state and country at heart.

“He was a consummate gentleman whose political opinions may have differed from some but was always kind and respectful toward everyone,” Edmunds added. 

Watkins is survived by his sister, Ruth Porter Watkins of South Boston; nieces and nephew Melissa Watkins of Goldsboro, N.C.; Mary Garrett and Bob Itin of Philadelphia, Pa.; Mary Tucker and Scott Irby of South Boston; John E. Moore Jr. of Springfield, Mo.; Crimora and David Carter of Greenville, S.C.; Dr. Porter Moore of Nashville, Tn.; Edward Barksdale Watkins of Richmond; John Payne Thrift III of Washington, D.C.; and eight great nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his brother, William R. Watkins Jr.; his sister Louise Watkins Moore; and his nephew, Lt. Col. Willliam R. Watkins III.

Memorial services will be held Tuesday at 2 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church with the Rev. Dr. Russell Lee officiating.

Burial will follow in the Oak Ridge Cemetery with military rites.

The family will receive friends today from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Black Walnut Farm located at 2091 Black Walnut Road, Clover.