Darrell Arthur Watson of Hendersonville, NC fell asleep in the Lord in the early hours of February 1, 2023. Of an amazingly sound mind, but a declining weakened body, he is now where the Great Lover of Mankind’s light will shine upon him for eternity, and is reunited with his beloved wife of sixty-six years. He was 101 years old at the time of his death.
Mr. Watson was born on Chincoteague Island, Virginia on October 1, 1921 to the late Arthur James Watson and Mary Ann Bunting. Growing up during the Great Depression on the Eastern Shore of Virginia, he loved to tell how times were so hard that all his family had to eat were oysters, clams, and crabs along with the fish his waterman grandfathers caught on their boats! A precocious youngster who worked in his father’s grocery store throughout his boyhood, he skipped the second grade and graduated from high school as “the most likely to be a politician” and as “the most romantic” (whose secret weapon was serenading the girls with his beautiful tenor voice). He attended William and Mary
College in Williamsburg, Virginia from 1938-1942, where he played trombone both in the marching band and dance band, and where, as a senior, he met “a cute little freshman,” the love of his life, Mary Irene Jarrett of Mineral, Virginia whom he courted for the next four years.
Upon receipt of a B.A. degree in Political Science, on June 26, 1943 Mr. Watson enlisted in the United States Marine Corps along with millions of other patriots of “the Greatest Generation.” Assigned to a replacement battalion, on April 8, 1944, he left the United States to join the 1st Marine Division in the Solomon Islands, Pacific Theatre. During the war he served as an assistant adjutant and adjutant until 1946. His division landed on Okinawa on April 1, 1945, and afterward they moved to Tien Tsen, North China. Mr. Watson was discharged from active duty in April, 1946 and was in the Marine Corps Reserves until 1958 during which time he was promoted to the ranks of Captain (1948) and Major (1951).
Married on October 19, 1946, Mr. and Mrs. Watson enjoyed life together and lived in many different places. They had two daughters, Deborah Ann (1950) and Valerie Jarrett (1953). For the next twentyfive years, Mr. Watson worked for Dun and Bradstreet in Raleigh, NC; Richmond, Virginia; New York City; and Toronto, Ontario. In 1972 he returned to the States to Georgia where he worked in financial management for Gainesville Iron Works, and later Atlanta Steel Company. In 1985 he retired to his wife’s “home place” in Clermont, Georgia where he enjoyed gardening, singing in church and community choirs, serving on the local library board, reading (especially mystery thrillers), traveling, and helping to raise two grandsons. In 2012, he moved to Heritage Hills in Hendersonville, NC to be closer to his daughter, Valerie. Mrs. Watson died in 2013. Mr. Watson moved to the Bridge at Lake Pointe Landing in 2018.
Darrell Arthur Watson leaves behind his daughter, Deborah Ann Gibb of Stratford, Ontario, Canada; daughter, Valerie Holcombe and her husband, Edwin Holcombe of Hendersonville, NC.; granddaughter, Jessica Gibb Hewitt and her husband, Chris and their three children, Peyton, Parker, and Paige of Cambridge, Ontario; grandson, James Arthur Gibb and his daughter, Kyla of Stratford, Ontario; grandson, Samuel Jarrett Noble and his wife, Brittany and their children, George, twins Julie and Dahlia, and Percy of Leuven, Belgium; and grandson, Caleb Watson Noble and his wife, Andrea Johnson and their twin sons, Aeneas and Grant of St. Louis, Missouri.
A traditional Christian funeral followed by a reception will be held at Mills River Presbyterian Church on February 11, 2023 at 2:00 P.M. Memorial contributions may be offered on behalf of Mr. Watson to Mills River Presbyterian Church or to Wycliffe Bible Translators, Ministry # 300218-RG (wycliffe.org).
Darrell, Dad, Grampa, Papa, and Pop-Pop will be greatly missed. Blessed Repose. Memory Eternal.