Edward "Big Ed” Jackson Watkins, Sr. 88, passed away Tuesday, February 2, 2021. He was born September 11, 1932 in Johnston County to the late John Wilkins Watkins and Nadine Simons Watkins. He honorably served his country in the US Army.
“Big Ed” Watkins was known and loved by many for the excellent meals and stories that were served in his restaurants. It all began with a small burger joint in the mid 1950’s named Baxley’s, before opening Watkins 24 Hour grill. He also had a small stint with the more iconic and still open 42nd Street Oyster Bar. He served as the City of Raleigh’s maintenance manager in 1974, and later owned and operated the Kawasaki dealership in Raleigh. Undoubtedly his most memorable contribution to Raleigh was Big Ed’s City Market Restaurant, where his legacy lives on. Ed was dearly loved and will be missed by many, but never forgotten.
There will be an open visitation 1:00 to 5:00 pm, Friday, February 5, 2021 at the funeral home for anyone wishing to pay their respects, the family will not be present. Masks and social distancing are required while in the funeral home.
Funeral service 1:00 pm, Saturday, February 6, 2021 at L. Harold Poole Funeral Service Chapel, 944 Old Knight Road, Knightdale. Burial will follow at Bethlehem Baptist Church Cemetery, 8400 Poole Road, Knightdale. For anyone unable to attend, the service will be live streamed and may be viewed by clicking the live stream link below.
He is survived by wife, Lynda Cook Watkins; daughter, Menette Watkins Price, son, Herman Edward Faulk; grandchildren: Lindsay, Jesse, Lee, Mark, Virginia, Brandon, Nikolas, Nikole; six great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.
In addition to his parents, Ed was preceded in death by sons: Edward Jackson Watkins, Jr., Richard Lester Watkins; brothers: J.W., Jimmy, Franklin and Oscar “Pete” Watkins; sister, Betty Hodge; son-in-law, J. Price.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Susan G. Komen North Carolina Triangle to the Coast, 600 Airport Blvd., Suite 100, Morrisville, NC 27560.
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