Aged 98, passed away peacefully of natural causes on June 19th, 2022. Wife of the late Franklin T. Watkins, and mother of Thisbe T. Ozimok, Hugh P. Watkins, Megan B. Watkins, and the late Jonathan A. Watkins, she also enjoyed four grandchildren and eleven great grandchildren.
After graduating with honors from Peabody High School in Pittsburgh, Deirdre studied art history at the University of Pittsburgh, the alma mater of her parents, Mary Johnson Baird and George M.P. Baird. She went on to take further classes at the Art Students League of New York, where she made many lifelong friends while living at International House.
Returning to Pittsburgh, Deirdre taught English at the Falk School as well as Winchester Thurston School for Girls. She went on to work as the assistant curator of Crafts for the Carnegie Museum of Natural History. She was a high level calligrapher and lettered many wedding and birth announcements and advertisements. A gifted seamstress, she made most of her own clothes and many for the girls, not to mention Scottish kilts for the boys! She occasionally worked for Ducray Interiors in Mt. Lebanon, where her Christmas window displays were an annual neighborhood highlight for many years.
Deirdre met Franklin while she was singing alto and he was the piano accompanist in the Bach Choir of Pittsburgh. They shared not only a love of music, but language, history, travel, gardening, and folk dancing. They performed together for many years with both the English and Scottish country dancing groups at the annual Pittsburgh Folk Festival. After Franklin passed away in 1993, she continued to travel to Europe with Elderhostel groups and continued to sing with the choir at Southminster Presbyterian Church for another two decades.
Deirdre is perhaps best remembered for her smile, her beautiful garden and her hand-made Christmas cards, which represented a weeks-long effort of silk screening multiple colors and addressing hundreds of envelopes in her elegant calligraphic hand. More than a few of her friends saved every one - a total of nearly seventy original designs. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Deirdre's name to The National Wildlife Foundation https://www.nwf.org/ donation link: https://support.nwf.org/page/8844/donate/1?ea.tracking.id=WEB_DDN&_ga=2.204704720.1703625447.1603716941-1638024693.1588693724 and to donate to help those living at Providence Point and homes under the Baptist Homes umbrella who find themselves in need of financial aid you may donate to the Baptist Homes Foundation via their Donation Portal http://bhf.plannedgiving.org
A memorial service will be held at Providence Point chapel Saturday September 17, 2022 at 1:30 PM. 500 Providence Point Blvd, Pittsburgh, PA 15243. 412-489-3510