A Tribute to Our Founder Harold Watters

02/24/2022 | Ken Davis Employees, In the Garden

Harold Watters
Harold Leroy Watters

Harold Leroy Watters, 84, beloved father, husband, and great-grandfather ascended heaven-bound with his Lord and Savior on February 15, 2022.

In Wellington, Ohio, Harold was born to doting parents Richard and Edna Watters on March 17, 1937. His mother often said Harold has ‘Ants-in-His-Pant’ for the amount of energy he had, always in motion. He grew up with a saxophone, hunting, fishing, playing ball, and landscaping for the neighbors to buy his first car.

Asking his new girlfriend, Lorna England, to the Wellington High School Prom, he married his high school sweetheart a year after graduation. They celebrated an incredible 65 years of marriage together.

Arizona had been a state just 46 years when Harold and Lorna packed up the station wagon and moved. Yavapai County was filled with open rangeland and cattle then, and only 12,000 residents lived in Prescott. They may have been from Ohio, but after 60 years of community service, Harold Leroy Watters was a Prescottonian through and through.

There would be no Watters Garden Center without founding father Harold Watters. In 1962, Harold expanded his landscaping company to include a plant nursery. The business was born near the old bowling alley on Plaza Drive in Prescott. The garden center grew as Harold’s family grew, including a pet store and flower shop. His wife and four daughters all pitched in to help. Harold’s love of plants and beautifying his community was integral in all aspects of his life, including family vacations spent touring gardens and nurseries. Harold’s saying to live by, “Put your heart and soul into every activity you do, as though you are doing it for the Lord Himself and not merely for others.” Colossians 3:23

By 1983, the garden center needed room to grow, so Harold moved it to its current location on Iron Springs Road. After 40 years, he decided to retire and passed the torch in 2002 to his youngest daughter, Lisa Watters-Lain, and husband, Ken.

“If you are going to give, give them your time and expertise as well as your money.” Harold served on the Prescott Frontier Rotary, YRMC Hospital, Prescott Chamber of Commerce, and Arizona Nursery Association boards, to name only a few. He thoughtfully made his community a better place to live spiritually, mentally, and physically. His heart was always drawn downtown across from the Prescott courthouse to his church, Solid Rock Christian Fellowship. He taught in-depth Bible Studies as Deacon and shared from the Word of God at the fellowship’s soup kitchen for years.

Searching through his personal bible reveals his heart in so many ways. Until his assertion, he was still talking fervently about the power of God’s grace; his eyes were ever heavenly bound. Harold had many verses to live by with a particular liking for the books of Psalms and 1 John. One had multiple highlights, underlines, and comments in Psalms 118 “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever. The Lord is my strength and my defense; he has become my salvation. The Lord has done it this very day; let us rejoice today and be glad.”

Harold’s passion for plants never faded. Even after 20 years of retirement, he popped in frequently to Watters Garden Center he started and loved.

Sadly Harold lost a daughter, Cheryl Watters, three years ago. His wife, Lorna Watters, survives and three daughters, Joanne Mikkelson (Rick), Terri Watters, and Lisa Watters-Lain (Ken). And by his brother and sister Richard Watters and Jeannie McBride. He brimmed with pride when around his eight grandchildren Raina Dawson, Lexi and Adam Miller, Samantha Mikkelson, Katelyn Lain-Cespedes, James, Meghan, and McKenzie Lain; with even more pride with his four great-grandchildren.

Words of encouragement, memories and sympathy to the family are encouraged: please send to Watters Garden Center, 1815 Iron Springs Rd, Prescott AZ 86305. Thoughtful notes will be read at Harold’s celebration of life on March 17.