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Wilkerson Funeral Home and Crematory
Thursday February 24th, 2022
6:00pm - 8:00pm

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Graveside Service

Reidlawn Cemetery
Friday February 25th, 2022

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Order Flowers now for guaranteed delivery before Eugene "Gene" 's visitation.

Eugene "Gene" Autry Watson

Heaven gained a loving and hardworking angel on February 20th, 2022. 


Eugene Autry Watson (“Papa”) was born on March 31st, 1939, in Webster County, Georgia. He served as a weapons mechanic in the Air Force and married Annette Watson in 1961. This past October, they celebrated 60 years of marriage. Together they raised five kids and, later in life, chased after eight grandkids and ten great-grandchildren in Reidsville, North Carolina. Gene was due to meet his first great-great-grandchild (5 generations) in a few months. 


Gene was a cherished member of the Reidsville community. Many people knew him as the gregarious manager at Freeway Builder’s Supply and an electrician with Carter Lock and Security. On Sundays and Wednesdays, Gene and his wife regularly attended services at Lawsonville Road Baptist Church. In the evenings, he enjoyed watching his sons play softball at Jaycee Park and relaxing on the porch. He always kept Jolly Ranchers and Life Saver candies in his shirt’s front pocket and a Diet Coke in his hand. He enjoyed working on cars and fixing things around the house. Most of all, he enjoyed being with family and watching children playing in the yard.


Papa exemplified loyalty, perseverance, and family devotion beyond humanistic standards. Not through grandiose gestures, but by heartfelt deeds personally tailored and delivered at just the right time. Whether it was words of encouragement or fixing a broken swing, he knew exactly what was needed to make life a little bit better. Furthermore, Papa fought for his family through every medical condition, setback, and loss. He knew how to make things “just right” the right way. And when he couldn’t, he set the example for tolerance, coping and acceptance. Beset with Addison’s Disease (a rare adrenal disorder), Papa fought to keep life a wonderful experience. His will to live was fierce. He was our hero. And through the grace of God, he passed away peacefully at home, surrounded by family, at the age of 82.


Gene is survived by his wife Annette Watson; sons Randy Elrod, Terry Elrod, and Jeffrey Watson (+Wendy); daughters, Vickie King (+Tim) and Cheryl Bird (+Daniel); grandchildren, Michael Elrod (+Melissa), Crystal Robertson (+Chris), Kirk Smithey, Cagney Elrod, Dr. Ashleé Miller, Michael Watson (+Jennifer Watson) and Justin Watson (+Kristin); and great-grandchildren, Austin Elrod, Brady Elrod, Owen Robertson, Carson Robertson, Rhett Watson, Seniah Harding, Isaiah Word, Maddix Harding, Jackson Griffin, and Ava Griffin. He is preceded in death by his mother, Mattie Watson and grandson, Chuck Smithey.


The family will receive visitors at Wilkerson Funeral Home on Thursday, February 24th, 6pm-8pm. A full graveside service with military honors will begin at 3pm on Friday, February 25th, 2022 at Reidlawn Cemetery with Dr. Ron Tuck officiating.



To plant memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Eugene "Gene" Watson, please visit our flower store.


A candle was lit in memory of Eugene "Gene" Watson

Donald cook Feb 25 2022 3:48 PM

A candle was lit in memory of Eugene "Gene" Watson

Doug & Paula Brame Feb 24 2022 5:09 PM

A candle was lit in memory of Eugene "Gene" Watson

Peggy S Loftis Feb 24 2022 9:36 AM

Our Condolences to the Watson Family.

Richard Bowers and Jesselyn Bowers Feb 23 2022 10:19 PM

Dear Watson Family....We extend our deepest Condolences.
You are in our hearts, our thoughts, and our prayers. May you sense God's tender words being spoken to your heart, "I am your God and I will be your comfort" May God's words not only reach your heart, but his loving arms wrap you in comfort that only He can provide. We are so sorry for your loss.

Minister Levitus & Juanita Nunley Feb 23 2022 10:14 PM

A candle was lit in memory of Eugene "Gene" Watson

Henry & Nancy Link Feb 23 2022 10:03 AM

A candle was lit in memory of Eugene "Gene" Watson

Mike Cooke - Cone Health Plant Operations Feb 23 2022 9:27 AM

A candle was lit in memory of Eugene "Gene" Watson

Wayne & Cheryl McBride Feb 23 2022 7:43 AM

Sorry to hear of Gene passing from us ! I met Gene back in the 1970s ,prayers for his family !

Keith Hill Feb 23 2022 6:39 AM

A candle was lit in memory of Eugene "Gene" Watson

Robin Shelton Feb 22 2022 11:34 PM

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