Benjamin Riley Watson, 102, of St. Petersburg, Fla., and formerly of Putnam County, passed away Tuesday, October 16, 2012 at the Masonic Home of Florida in St. Petersburg following an extended illness.
A native of Thomaston, Georgia, Ben worked as an airplane technician in Warner Robins for three years during World War II. Afterwards, he moved back to Thomaston, to be closer to family. He then worked as a section foreman at Thomaston Mills for 20 years. After leaving Thomaston Mills, he was employed as a salesman with Investors Diversified for six years. All the while, he also maintained a 40-acre farm, which included livestock and crops. He was also an active member of the Valley Grove Baptist Church in Thomaston. In April 1945, he joined the Masons and was actively involved since that time. He and his wife Eva retired to Crescent City where he continued to be involved with the Masons at Lake Lodge #72 as well as Beulah Baptist Church. He also resided in Palatka for several years before moving to St. Petersburg. Ben’s devotion to family was only exceeded by his devotion to God. He was a loving and caring father, husband, brother and friend. He strived each day to become an even better person and was respected and dearly loved by those around him.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Eva James Clay Watson.
He is survived by a daughter, Naniska Boyer of Gainesville, Fla., 2 sons, Benjamin A. Watson of Mobile, Ala. and Robert A. Watson of Chiefland, seven grandchildren , 10 great-grandchildren and a great-great-grandson.
Services will be at 11 a.m. Monday, October 22, 2012 at Beulah Baptist Church in Fruitland with Pastor Robby Paxton officiating. Interment will follow at Eden Cemetery in Crescent City with Lake Lodge #72 conducting graveside Masonic Rites. Visitation will be from 3-5 P.M. Sunday at Johnson-Overturf Funeral Home in Palatka.
Flowers are gratefully accepted or memorial donations may be made in Ben’s memory to the Masonic Home of Florida, 3201 1st St., NE, St. Petersburg, FL 33704.
Memories and condolences may be expressed to the family at www.JohnsonOverturffunerals.com.
Arrangements are under the direction of Johnson-Overturf Funeral Home in Palatka, Fla.