Armin Johnston Watkins of Burnsville, passed away on May 12, 2018 after battling cancer for 5 years. The son of James Rufus and Florence Lucile Watkins, he was born in Skokie, IL on July 23, 1931. His only brother James died at the age of 17.
Armin graduated with honors from Yale University in piano and violin. After a master’s degree at Yale, he was the first to be awarded a PHD in Piano Literature and Performance at Indiana University. He performed throughout Europe and America. Dr. Watkins taught piano at Michigan State & Bradley Universities, then as a charter faculty member, at USF in Tampa until retiring in 1997. Armin was a loving husband and father. He leaves all who knew him a legacy of the joy, beauty and discipline of making music. God’s love was expressed through his gifts of teaching and encouragement, as well as through the virtues of kindness and respect.
Surviving are his loving wife: Gretchen Watkins; 3 daughters: Catherine Bringerud, Claudia (Kim) Brown and Carrie (Mark) Collins; 2 sons: Christopher (Jan) Watkins and Byron Watkins; 9 grandchildren and 7 great grandchildren also survive.
A memorial service will be held on Tuesday, June 5 at 10am at Idlewild Baptist Church in Tampa (Lutz), FL.
In Lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Hospice of Yancey County, 856 Georges Fork Road, Burnsville, NC 28714 or National Foundation for Cancer Research, 5515 Security Lane, Suite 1105, Rockville, MD 20852.
Hospice of Yancey County
856 Georges Fork Road, Burnsville NC 28714
National Foundation for Cancer Research
5515 Security Lane, Suite 1105, Rockville, MD 20852