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Tuesday, February 9, 2021
Starts at 2:00pm (Eastern time)
James T. Watson, Sr., 85, of Rockingham, NC departed this earthly life on February 6, 2021, at Richmond County Hospice House. Jimmy, as he was affectionately known to all who knew and loved him was the oldest son of the late James Lee and Mary Viola Terry Watson born on May 31, 1935. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by sons, Timothy Wayne Watson, Michael Clifton Watson, daughter-in-law Wanda Rummage Watson brother Reverend Tommy Lee Watson and sisters Nellie Watson Cochran and Norma Jean Watson.
Jimmy is survived by his wife of 57 years, Ann Reynolds Watson and their precious dog Heidi of the home, his son James T. Watson, Jr. (Terry) of Charlotte, NC, former daughter-in-law, Kim Kelly, grandchild Tony (Alyssa) Watson of Cincinnati, Ohio, sister-in-law Mavis Watson Gibson, brother-in-law E.B. (Buddy) Reynolds and wife, Alice of Centerville, Georgia, his beloved sister-in-law Cynthia Reynolds Cooper and husband Charlie of Aberdeen, NC. A consistent source of guidance and help whenever he was needed he is also survived by nieces Denise Reynolds Bartolon, Kim Watson Bauer, Amy Wallace and Sherri Watson West and nephews Vann Reynolds, Tommy Watson, Jr., Steve Wallace, Duane Cochran, David Cochran and Chap Wallace. In addition, he was a source of love and encouragement to all these nieces and nephews and many, including his sister-in-law were the recipients of his talent for woodworking. Of special mention are nephew David Cochran, nieces Sherri Watson West and Amy Wallace who were a constant source of love, encouragement, and significant support to him, his wife and son Terry for the past several months.
Jimmy graduated from Rockingham High School in 1953 and joined the U.S. Navy shortly thereafter where he served from 1953-1957 and received the Good Conduct Medal and the National Defense Service Medal. He later earned degrees in Business Administration from Wingate College and Pembroke State University. His career path was determined at an early age as he saw the struggles and hard work of textile workers in the surrounding areas where he lived as a boy, including his parents and many family members. He determined that he would make a difference and he did. His life’s work in management began at Fieldcrest Mills, J.P. Stevens & Co. (Martha Baum and Hannah Pickett plants) and later retiring from Springs Mill in Laurel Hill, NC where his love and kindness touched the lives of his many employees as they faced the challenges created by the hard work and many changes in the textile industry over the years. His compassion for his employees never wavered in the hardest of times.
Jimmy was a member of Community Church in East Rockingham where he blessed many people on a regular basis with his beautiful baritone voice. He was a lover of Southern Gospel music his whole life, especially four part harmony. His favorite groups were the Statesmen Quartet, Cathedrals Quartet, and the Kingsmen Quartet. There was hardly a time when you wouldn’t find Jimmy singing. He would always come in the door at home singing gospel music. This will be missed most of all. Our loss is heaven’s gain for wherever the music is in heaven he will gladly join in and be a part of it.
Funeral service will be 2:00 pm on Tuesday at Community Church with Rev. Chris Thornton officiating.
Jimmy will lie in state from 1:00 – 2:00 pm at the church prior to the service.
At other times visitors will be received at the family home.
Masks should be worn at all times and social distancing will be in place.
Condolences may be made online at www.carterfuneral.net.
Carter Funeral Home is assisting the Watson Family.