1925 – 2023
Carol Cranmer Watts of Tabor City passed away on Jan. 5 at Novant Health New Hanover Regional Medical Center, Wilmington. He was 97.
He was born March 6, 1925, in Wilmington, NC, a son of Ollen Onslow and Nellie Huffaker Watts.
A graduate of Tabor City High School, he entered US Army service in 1943 and after finishing Advanced Infantry Training was assigned as a rifleman in the 385th Infantry Regiment, 76th Infantry Division, part of Patton’s Third Army.
He suffered severe shrapnel wounds from German artillery on Feb. 19, 1945 and was evacuated to a hospital in England. He earned the Purple Heart, the Bronze Star, the Combat Infantry Badge, and the National Defense Service Medal.
After the war he began a 40-year career with the US Postal Service as a rural letter carrier. He and his wife, Gracie, enjoyed taking their children on many camping trips during the summers.
He was a long-time member of the New Life Missionary Baptist Church in Tabor City and served many years as a deacon, treasurer, and song leader.
In their retirement years they enjoyed working in the yard and garden together, and attending auctions.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his brother, Bennie Watts; his sisters, Geneva Watts Dyches and Bernice Watts Joyner; and a daughter, Melissa Grace Watts.
He is survived by his brother, Stewart Ollen Watts of Tabor City; his wife of 73 years, Gracie Arnette Watts; their four children, Timothy Carol Watts of Wilmington, Deborah Watts Gray and husband Eugene Gray of La Grange, Melanie Watts Cox and husband Terry Cox of Loris, and Benjamin Alan Watts of Cape Carteret; ten grandchildren; and nine great grandchildren.
A graveside funeral service was planned for 11 a.m. Monday, Jan. 9, at Forest Lawn Cemetery, Tabor City, officiated by Rev. Garrett Gasque.
A guest register is available here.