Gloria Watkins, the daughter of the late Evenlyn (Florence SC) and Anthony Carter (U.S.Virgin Islands) was born on March 12, 1931, in New York City. She grew up in Harlem and was the eldest of three children. She was preceded in death by her siblings David Carter (aka Brother) and Shaheed Ramadan Al Baaqi (aka Booby).
Gloria and her brothers were reared under the Baptist faith. She attended and completed her education in the New York City public school system and was a graduate of Washington Irving High School. During their formative years, she and her brothers were exposed to various activities in an effort to cultivate their lives in positive ways. To this regard, Gloria learned to play piano and really enjoyed horseback riding. She also loved all of the jazz greats, such as Duke Ellington, Miles Davis and John Coltrane. Music was her outlet and she enjoyed singing along with some of her favorite artists.Gloria was also very intrigued with numerology. She could pair numbers together and tell you exactly what those numbers meant. Gloria loved Harlem and she was a true Harlemite.
“Harlem is where it all started.” was one of her favorite lines.
It was while living at 120 West 131st, that Gloria met and married the late Lucius Watkins. Their union produced three beautiful children; her daugher, Denise Watkins (who joined her in death), Lucius Watkins Jr. and David Watkins. In later years, Gloria met and had a long-standing relationship with Kenneth Wilson (aka Caper). This union produced a beautiful daughter, Fabayo A Watkins-Wilson.
Gloria loved her children and took pride in raising them. She worked hard, always wanting the absolute best for them. It was during this time that she discovered that fashion was her true passion. She began her retail career at high-end department stores, such as Bonwit Teller and Bergdorf Goodman. Gloria devoted over thirty years of service to the fashion industry. She would go on to help mold the careers of distinguished fashion icons such as Michael Kors. Before retiring she received a “certificate of achievement award” for highest sales in her department. To that extent, Gloria loved to dress nice. She always knew the latest styles and could predict designs that would be trending in the near future. Gloria was a very dignified woman whose exuberance was top tier. Always dressed to impress and nothing short of a class act.
Gloria really appreciated the “Old Days” and would often share stories of how men would have to wear suits just to walk on Seventh Avenue. She loved to tell the story of being a teenager and working in her father’s store on Eighth Avenue. The store was named after her: “Gloria's Five and Dime”. One day Billie Holiday came into the store to purchase a pack of Beechnut Gum. Gloria sold her that pack of gum and always recalled the wonderful experience as if it happened only yesterday. She would share so many wonderful memories and will forever be remembered for being a classy woman with a cool demeanor.
For many years, Gloria lived in the Abraham Lincoln Houses, in building 2120. She made many friends, notably her neighbors, Mrs. Banks, Mrs. Campbell and Mrs. Rose (2140). She was affectionately known and nicknamed by her children as “Mamadoc''. She had the fastest wit and come-back lines for anyone and in any given situation. The community will forever remember her as a sweet woman, who was loving, generous and very spiritual. Gloria was a beautiful blessing to her family, as well as to all that had the opportunity to experience her gentleness. Gloria “LOVED ON” her family every chance she could. She was a faithful mother to her children, a doting grandmother to her grandchildren and great-grandchildren and a glorious aunt to her many nieces, nephews, cousins and extended family. Gloria was a true Matriarch, who will never be forgotten, however, she will always surely and sadly be missed.
Though we will miss you, we are truly grateful for your life and the time we were able to spend with you, on this earth. Ninety years, six months and 15 days. May the lord be pleased.
We love you, dearly, Mommy and THANK YOU FOR LOVING US!
Gloria closed her eyes, peacefully, on Wednesday, September 15, 2021. She was at her home in Huntersville, North Carolina, where she spent the last two years of her life being loved on and cared for by her youngest daughter, Fabayo, and her grandson, Idris.
Gloria leaves to cherish, in her sweet sweet memory, her children: oldest son, Lucius Watkins Jr., son David Watkins, daughter Fabayo A. Watkins-Wilson, grandchildren: Akmir K. Gray, Whitney Watkins, Karriem Watkins, Destinee Watkins, Idris K. Mitchell, Tahir Watkins, great grandchildren: Daishawn Moore, Jada Dyer and Kavion Watkins, nieces & nephews: Evenlyn Harris, Veronica Harris, Dureen Carter, Patricia Brown, Khadijah Miller, David CarterJr., Louis Shaheed Harris (preceded in death), Teashalavonine Smith, Christine Gilyard, Cynthia Williams, Tyrone Williams, Cassandra Winston, Carol Glenn, Anthony Watkins, Virginia Moody, Clara Moody, Diane Watkins, Catherine Watkins, extended son, Aaron W. Fraser (who preceded her in death), Son-in-law Troy B. Mitchell, daughter in law Della Fields-Watkins, and a host of other loving family members. There may be too many to name but you are all just as important as those mentioned.
Mommy, this is not goodbye. We will see you again. God Bless you on your new assignment. As we always said to each other when we had to part, Toot-a-loo, until we meet again.
Your Loving Children
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