Obituary of Merritt Omer Watson Sr ~ 2009

Transcribed by Joan S Dunn

Source: New Bern Sun Journal Jul 7 2009

Merritt Omer Watson Sr., 96, of Lowland, died early on Sunday morning, 
July 5, 2009, at his home. 
Merritt was born on October 23, 1912, to Ada and Kelly Watson. He was the 
oldest of ten children. 
He was preceded in death by his wife of 66 years, Mary Jane Ireland Watson 
and by a son, John Thomas Watson, who died as an infant. 
He was also preceded in death by two brothers, Ebern and Olen and a 
sister, Gladys.
He is survived by his children, Jane Watson Brown of Rose Hill, Merritt 
Watson Jr. and wife, Linda, of Kennel's Beach, Ronnie Michael Watson and 
wife, Anne, of Merritt, and Gladys Watson Hopkins and husband, Dale, of 
Greenville. He is also survived by 13 grandchildren and 14 great-
grandchildren. His living brothers and sisters are, Roy Watson and wife 
Hilda, Nellie Cahoon, Ruby Allsbrook and husband David, Marjorie 
Eggleston, Bertie Dougherty and husband Ronnie, and Kelly Watson Jr. and 
wife Jo.
Merritt spent the greater part of his life as a commercial fisherman and 
was known to many people as "Captain Merritt". His fishing career began 
with sailboats and he was a pioneer in fishing with a trawler in the 
ocean. In the summers he fished out of Gloucester, Mass; later out of 
Newport, Rhode Island. In the winter, he fished out of Norfolk, Va., and 
sometimes he brought his trawlers into Hobucken.
For about 13 years Merritt went out of the commercial fishing business to 
manage Rose Hill Poultry Plant in Rose Hill. He was a part owner of the 
business. In 1973, he sold his share in the poultry plant and built a 
steel hull trawler. Though at an age most retire, he wanted to return to 
the life of a fisherman he had known and still loved. Merritt lived to 
work and when asked by someone what was something he liked to do, his 
reply was simply, "work."
Merritt was beloved and respected by all who knew him. He was a helper of 
many people, a man who deeply loved his family, his community, and his 
church. Though gone from us, he will not be forgotten and will be 
remembered with joy and love. 
Visitation with the family will be at Bryant Funeral Home in Alliance, 
from 6 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, July 7. A funeral service will be conducted 
by Norman Miller at the Lowland Church of Christ at 11 a.m. Wednesday, 
July 8. Burial will follow in Watson cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations in Merritt's honor 
be given to Lowland Church of Christ or to your favorite charity. 
Arrangements by Bryant Funeral Home & Cremations, Alliance.

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