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1925 Hilman 2022

Hilman Thomas Watkins

March 26, 1925 — July 20, 2022



Blanche Hilman Thomas Watkins


March 26, 1925 – July 20, 2022


Durham, North Carolina 


Blanche Hilman Thomas Watkins passed away peacefully with family by her side on Wednesday, July 20, 2022, at Croasdaile Village Retirement Community in Durham, North Carolina.


Hilman was born to Roy Hilman Thomas and Blanche Leigh Whitmore on March 26, 1925, in Raleigh, NC, where her father worked as State Supervisor of Agricultural Education and Research.


She attended Needham B. Broughton High School in Raleigh, NC, where she was an active participant in numerous clubs and committees. In her senior year, Hilman received the Miss Needham B. Broughton 1943 superlative and was elected Student Body Secretary and Vice President of the National Honor Society.


Hilman earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Secretarial Administration from the Woman’s College of the University of North Carolina, Class of 1947 (Greensboro, NC). She was named Chief Marshal and was selected for the May Court and Who’s Who.


After graduation, Hilman worked in Washington DC as a stenographer for United States Senator William B. Umstead. She returned to Raleigh where she wed Mr. Rotcher Harris Watkins, Jr., a distinguished World War II Army Air Corps veteran.

Mr. and Mrs. Watkins settled in Durham and enjoyed spending long family summers together at the “Tarheel” beach cottage in Oak Island. Hilman seldom met a stranger and had a keenness for keeping in touch. She was blessed with many great friendships throughout her life. Those who knew Hilman know that she loved to dance - jitterbug, swing, formal, you name it! She will be remembered for her unwavering optimism, spontaneous dancing, dedication to family and friends, and her love of the Carolina Tarheels. She will truly be missed.


She belonged to the Junior league of Durham, Trinity United Methodist Church Circle, Charter Member of the Garden Club of North Carolina in Hope Valley, Durham Debutante Ball Committee, and was a Volunteer for Meals on Wheels. 

Hilman was predeceased by her husband, Rotcher Harris Watkins, Jr., her parents Roy Hilman Thomas and Blanche Leigh Whitmore, her sister, Martha Edmiston Thomas, her grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. James Lorenzo Whitmore and Mr. and Mrs. Ellis Fletcher Thomas.


She is survived by four children, Hilman Watkins Huskey (Eddie), Leigh Watkins Bullard, Martha Watkins Pasquini (David), and Rotcher Harris Watkins III (Penny); nine grandchildren, Laura Hilman Grady Reyes, Jessica Leigh Bullard, Kyle McKenzie Bullard (Courtney), Kevin Harris Bullard (Ann Howell), Matthew Trevor Bullard, David Allan Pasquini Jr., Ryan Whitmore Pasquini, Paige Owen Watkins Covert (Eddie), and Kelly Thomas Watkins; and five great-grandchildren, Abigail Hilman Reyes, Kyle McKenzie Bullard Jr., Kaylee Joy Covert, Luke Michael Covert and Violet Isabel Bullard.


Funeral Services for Hilman Thomas Watkins will be held at 2:30 PM in the Few Chapel at Croasdaile Village Retirement Community, 2600 Croasdaile Farm Parkway in Durham on Monday, August 1, 2022. Visitation will be 1 hour prior to the service beginging at 1:30 PM. Burial will be in Maplewood Cemetery, Durham, North Carolina.  


Flowers are acceptable, or in lieu of flowers the family suggests memorials be made in memory of Hilman T. Watkins to the charity of your choice.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Hilman Thomas Watkins , please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Monday, August 1, 2022

1:30 - 2:30 pm (Eastern time)

Croasdaile Village - Few Chapel

2600 Croasdaile Farm Parkway, Durham, NC 27705

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Ceremony

Monday, August 1, 2022

Starts at 2:30 pm (Eastern time)

Croasdaile Village - Few Chapel

2600 Croasdaile Farm Parkway, Durham, NC 27705

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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