Helen Watts ,102, went home to be with the Lord on Monday, December 24, 2018 at NHC Healthcare in Johnson City, Tennessee. Mrs. Watts was born in the Rocky Fork community of Unicoi County, on July 31, 1916, and lived in the county for all of her life. She was the daughter of the late Zeb Waldrop and Lydia Guinn.
Helen was beloved by everyone she met and was a kind and caring person, especially those she met at NHC. She loved gardening, her church, her friends and family. Helen worked during World War II as one of the “girls of Atomic City” as part of the Manhattan Project in Oak Ridge that ended the war and later worked at Southern Pottery, Industrial Garment and Superior Hone.
As a faithful member of Calvary Baptist Church in Erwin, Helen worked in the children’s nursery for 27 years.
She was the loving wife of Lawrence Watts until his death in 1999. Her daughter, Lydia Katherine Treadway preceded her in death in 2016. She was the last surviving member of the 12 children of Zeb and Lydia. Preceding her in death were: Roy, Frank, Hugh, Donald, Hobert, and Robert Waldrop and sisters, Carrie Sparks, Anice Bauguss, Kate Cutshaw, Mamie Chandley and Sarah Hardin.
Helen is survived by her son, Robert Eugene Shelton and wife, Judy of Johnson City, four grandchildren: Tony Treadway and wife, Teresa of Johnson City; Donna Marie Lingerfelt of Erwin; Tim Shelton and wife, Susan of Memphis and Todd Shelton of Jersey City, New Jersey. Nine great grandchildren: Kristen Leanne Treadway of Johnson City, Matthew Lingerfelt and Sarah Lingerfelt of Erwin, Wesley Higgins of College Station, Texas and Jack, Gray, Sam, Drew, John David, all of Memphis. One great, great grandson, Anthony Tybre Faw of Johnson City also survives.
Also surviving is sister-in-law, Edith Waldrop, Greeneville, and several nieces and nephews, special niece, Wilma Hughes and special nephew, Ralph Sparks.
The family will receive friends from 5:00 P.M. to 7:00 P.M.on Wednesday, December 26th at Robert Ledford Funeral Home Chapel. Reverend Tim Shelton will officiate at the 7 p.m. funeral service. Music will be provided by Teresa Treadway. Committal will be held at 2:30 p.m. on Thursday, December 27th at the Evergreen Cemetery. Those wishing to attend the graveside committal should meet at the cemetery at 2:15 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, please donate in her honor to Samaritan’s Purse at Samaritanspurse.org
Online condolences, photos and memories may be shared with the Watts family through our complimentary, interactive Book of Memories at www.ledfordfuneralhomes.com
Robert Ledford Funeral Home, 720 Ohio Avenue, Erwin, is privileged to serve the Watts family. (423) 743-1380.