Born in Brooklyn on May 5, 1920, Ms. Watson was a graduate of Holy Cross Secretarial School in Manhattan and Staten Island Community College. She worked as a school secretary for the New York City Board of Education. She was married for 41 years to George Watson, who predeceased her.
Ms. Watson first visited Montauk in 1952 with her husband when they set up camp at Hither Hills State Park. In 1957, Mr. Watson built a bungalow on West Lake Drive allowing Ms. Watson and her children to spend every summer in Montauk. It wasn’t until 1980 that the Watsons purchased a year-round home near the Montauk School. In 1993, Ms. Watson moved to Florida, but continued to visit her children in Montauk until her death.
Ms. Watson volunteered at the Society of St. Vincent DePaul and was a Eucharistic minister who tutored at after-school reading programs. She was also a founding director of the Montauk Public Library and served as a greeter at the Montauk Point Lighthouse.
Ms. Watson was devoted to her family serving as coach and cheerleader to them all, family said.
She is survived by eight children, Bernadette Koch of New Jersey, George Watson of Montauk, Cathy Watson of Hawaii, Robert Watson of Florida, Alice Houseknecht of Montauk, Tom Watson of Paris, Paul Watson of Korea and Audrey Andres of Springs; 12 grandchildren, Tara Koch, Donna Andres, Nicholas Bocchimuzzo, James Bocchimuzzo, Alexander Watson, Christopher Watson, Justin Polovina, Alexis Polovina, Larissa Watson, Raymond Houseknecht, Maya Watson and Joseph Andres; three great grandchildren, Cali Houseknecht, Carter Houseknecht and Alice Rose Lopez; and a twin sister, Catherine Cooke McCabe of Montauk. In addition to her husband, she was predeceased by a son, Joe Watson.
A funeral Mass was held at on Friday, January 6, at St. James Roman Catholic Church in Basking Ridge, New Jersey.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Ridge Oak Care Fund, 150 Manchester Drive, Basking Ridge, NJ 07920.