James “Jim” Walter Watson, devoted husband, loving father, grandfather, and great-grandfather died peacefully at home in Cartersville, GA on January 2, 2021. Born on September 27, 1930 in Atlanta, GA, he was the second son of Floyd Henry Watson, Sr. and Bertie Wilkins Watson.
Jim spent his formative years in Georgia, Arkansas, and Louisiana. He enlisted in the U.S. Army and served his country with honor during the Korean War, rising to the rank of Sargent First Class. Upon his return, he married Betty Lee Compton and began a thirty-two-year career with Gulf Oil. In 1986, after Betty’s passing, Jim retired from Gulf, married Geraldine Marie Belt, and began a second career as a full time Grandfather. He was widely known as “Gramps”, not only to his own grandchildren but their friends and families as well. His outgoing and contagious personality endeared him to all and he never met a stranger.
A gifted baseball player who was offered a professional contract by the St. Louis Browns, Jim loved coaching and attending the various sporting events of his grandchildren. A devoted fan of the Atlanta Braves, he enjoyed watching college and other professional sports.
Jim cherished his faith and was an active member of various churches, wherever his career and retirement took him. He served on church finance and building committees and ushered regularly.
He was a member of the Masonic Fraternity for 67 years having joined in 1953 at Lebanon Lodge #440 F&AM, Shreveport, LA. He was a Past Master and Perpetual Member of Slidell Lodge #311 F&AM, Slidell, LA and most recently a Member Emeritus of Cartersville Lodge #63 F&AM, Cartersville, GA. A Masonic Funeral will be held on Friday, January 29, 2021 at 9:30 am in the Chapel of the Parnick Jennings Funeral Home, 430 Cassville Road, Cartersville, GA.
In addition to his parents and wives, Jim was predeceased by his brother, Floyd Henry Watson, Jr. He is survived by his children, David (Carole) Watson, Melise (Wayne) Etheridge, and Sheila Hernandez; grandchildren, Jeff Turner, Cara Stauffer, Erin Hartman, Evan Watson, Nathan Etheridge, and Tucker Etheridge; and great-grandson, Jaxson Turner.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, Cartersville, GA on Friday, January 29, 2021 at 11:00 am followed by private interment at Georgia National Cemetery, Canton, GA. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, 850 Douthit Ferry Road, Cartersville, GA 30120 or Slidell Lodge #311, 3553 Walter Drive, Slidell, LA 70458 or Cartersville Lodge #63, PO Box 200843, Cartersville, GA 30120.