It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Archibald 'Skip' Coutts. This loss is felt so deeply not only because Skip was such a dedicated member of The Highlands Historical Society for over thirty years but even more so for his personal connection with the estate itself.
The gardener's cottage, which is tucked in the far north east corner of the gardens, was Skip's childhood home. He had the blessing of running through the gardens as a child while his father, Archie Coutts, worked the land. Archie was the full time gardener for Caroline Sinkler and lived in the original stone portion of the cottage when he was first hired. As time went on, he married, started his family, and Caroline added on to the cottage for the hard working couple and their child on the way.
Last weekend, we were touched to see so many of Skip Coutts' family members and his dog come to visit The Highlands. To walk through the cottage and wander the special grounds that their father, grandfather and great grandfather once played and explored as a young boy was an incredibly meaningful way to say farewell.
The Highlands Historical Society would like to send our deepest condolences to the entire Coutts family and express our earnest gratitude for Skip's support and dedication over the years. He was always spoken of so fondly by members and friends of The Highlands and now, his special connection to the estate will continue to be shared as a part of the wonderful history here for many years to come.
And now some words from Skip's eldest granddaughter, Kelly Marie Coutts:
My grandfather was a hard-working and stoic man that loved to write poetry and watch the Phillies. A skilled craftsman, he worked in Montgomery and Philadelphia Counties; Chestnut Hill, Flourtown, Fort Washington, and Whitemarsh. He is survived by 17 great-grandchildren, 30 grandchildren, 10 children, and one dog.
As the eldest of his grandchildren, I grew up surrounded by love and laughter at his home in Fort Washington, PA. The Highlands Mansion and Gardens have always held a special place in our family, as this is where my grandpop was born and raised from 1935-1957. His father, Archie Coutts, emigrated here from Scotland and was the head gardener for the property. They resided in the Gardner's Cottage. My grandpop cared deeply for The Highlands property and whenever possible, our family held many milestone events there; a wedding, a family reunion, and grandpop's 70th birthday.
The Highlands is deeply woven into our family quilt and grandpop would be proud that we are paying much homage to it today.
He was interred at Whitemarsh Memorial Park alongside his great love, Betty Coutts, on December 9, 2020.