Alice Raye Watson, of Adamsville, was born in Memphis on June 29, 1941, the second child of the late Homer Alvis and Elsie Jane Dale Watson. Although she never actually completed her high school work (although she did receive her diploma), she managed to gain admission, and then finish two years of college at Freed-Hardeman in Henderson, Tennessee. At the age of 40 she moved to Selmer, then to Adamsville, where she spent approximately the next 32 years of her life.
For years Alice served as the assistant to the safety supervisor for Tombigbee Transportation. Her membership in Adamsville Church of Christ gave her the opportunity to teach Sunday school and vacation Bible school. She loved to sing, whether hymns or songs from the old movies and musicals—of which she was a huge fan—and even the “Star Spangled Banner” which she performed perfectly from her hospital bed just a few days before her death. Traveling was another pastime Alice enjoyed, usually accompanying her sister Tanya and brother-in-law Herb and her mother as they rambled about East Tennessee and Kentucky in Tanya and Herb’s motor home. The 1970s found her taking up macramé but she also liked doing needlepoint—but games and puzzles had been one of her true pleasures since a very early age. They say practice makes perfect and Alice must have practiced a great deal to have honed her card playing skills to the point where she rarely ever lost.
As Alice’s health declined she began to read more and more, eventually finishing more than 700 books during the last few years while collecting an abundance of cookbooks. She loved kids, cats and dogs, but was absolutely terrified of any type of bug, a fear that, at one time, resulted in her brother-in-law having ice cream down his back and a census taker running for his life in the belief that her German Shepherd Princess was about to eat him—all because Alice screamed as a bug flew by.
Alice only lived a few hundred feet away from Tanya and Herb, a proximity that led her to effectively adopt their four children as her own. She was benevolent beyond her means and children were often the recipients of her generosity, especially those who attended Adamsville Elementary School. Each year she made it a point to see that money was available to help fund school supplies for the students who were struggling financially—even when she was in the final stages of the cancer she battled for almost eight years.
Alice Raye Watson departed this life on Wednesday, May 9, at the age of 76 years, 10 months and 10 days.
She is survived by her brother, Homer Watson and his wife Jackie of Savannah; her brother-in-law Herb Stewart of Adamsville; and a host of nieces and nephews.
Other than her parents, Homer Alvis Watson and Jane Watson Pyron, Alice was predeceased by her sister, Tanya Stewart.
Perhaps Alice’s outlook on the end of her life can best be summed up with her words to her brother-in-law Herb when a doctor’s observations did not bear the good news they had hoped to hear. As Herb struggled to maintain his composure, Alice popped him on the shoulder and told him to straighten up. Whatever happened, it would be all right. She knew where she was going.
Services were held on Saturday, May 12, at 3 p.m., at Adamsville Church of Christ in Adamsville with Mark Massey, Van Vansandt and Tim Carothers officiating. Burial followed in Adamsville Cemetery.