Wednesday, June 4, 2003

Obituary: Eltee Watson, 106

Avondale woman lived a full life

By Rebecca Goodman
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Eltee Watson lived through a century of amazing change.

Amid the turmoil of world wars and lightning-speed technological advances, the Avondale resident clung to traditional values - raising a family, reading the Bible, playing piano for her church and working for her community.

Mrs. Watson's death Friday ended 106 years of a fruitful life.

Born in Cynthiana, Ky., she married John Sherman Watson in 1917 - just as the United States was entering World War I.

The couple moved to Cincinnati that year and raised four children during the Great Depression and World War II.

Mrs. Watson was a faithful companion to her husband for 44 years until his death in 1961 - the year John F. Kennedy took office.

She saw her beloved Cincinnati Reds play in nine World Series games and attended games for as long as she was able.

And through the years, she derived joy from playing piano and organ for St. John AME Zion Church in Avondale and St. Mark AME Zion Church in Corryville.

Mrs. Watson was a member of the Stewardess Board and Missionary Society at St. Mark.

She spent summers making a secret-recipe relish and autumns making apple butter and bread to sell at church fund-raisers.

She also organized can and paper collection drives, volunteered to call on the sick and worked as a crossing guard for Cincinnati Public Schools.

She outlived three of her children: sons John Jr. and Ralph, and daughter, Armilda.

Survivors include another son, Frederick of College Hill; five grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren and three great-great grandchildren.

The funeral has been held. Interment is 9:30 a.m. today at Spring Grove Cemetery.


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