Alene McNamara Watts
October 5, 1917 – June 5, 2019
Alene McNamara Watts passed away in Marrero, LA on Wednesday June 5, 2019 at the age of 101. She was born in Louisville, Kentucky, the only child of James Alden Jones and Blanche Ione Vezolles. She was preceded in death by her parents and two husbands, James Patrick McNamara in 1991, and Major (RET) Jay Watts in 2005. Alene had no biological children, but through her marriages she gained family numbering six stepchildren and their spouses (Sandra and David Wadleigh, Bill and Stephanie Watts, Don and Lauri Watts, Alan and Barbara Watts, Karen Reed, and Mary McNamara). She also leaves 15 grandchildren and spouses, 28 great grandchildren (some with spouses) and three great-great grandchildren. Alene was raised in Louisville, Kentucky where after high school she graduated from Bryant and Stratton Business College. She worked as a secretary/stenographer first at Sears and Roebuck and then for the Presbyterian Minister’s Relief Fund. After a couple of years, she enrolled at the University of Louisville beginning with night classes while working and then graduating in 1946 with a major in German and a minor in Art History. In college she was interested in studying German and Russian literature, art history and classical music. After college she began writing poetry and published a book of poetry later in life. She spent time in New York City completing a translation into English of Ernst Barlach’s “Der Tote Tag”, which was donated to the library at Columbia University. Traveling by train as a child with her mother, Alene vacationed in New Orleans and fell in love with the culture, food and music. She relocated to New Orleans in 1954 where she resided during her remaining years. She was employed by Victor C. Smith Memorial Eye Clinic and Ochsner Clinic as a medical stenographer, Baptist Hospital, Department of Pathology, and Touro Infirmary, as a surgical stenographer. While married to her second husband, Alene stayed quite active traveling both in the U.S. and abroad (Paris and Rome). She also went on several cruises and attended at least one national poetry convention (she won an award for one of her poems). Alene continued to have varied interests in computers, music, poetry, food (she loved to bake) and was in relatively good health with a sharp mind right up until the last couple of weeks of her life. After evacuating to San Antonio, Tx for Hurricane Katrina for several months, Alene returned to New Orleans where she lived first with her stepson Bill Watts and wife Stephanie and then with step daughter Sandra Wadleigh and husband David for several years. She then moved into the St Joseph Apartments in Gretna, LA where she made many friends. When she was no longer able to live alone, she moved into Wynhoven Healthcare Center, 1050 Medical Center Blvd Marrero, LA where she was a resident at the time of her death. Alene became ill on Friday, May 24, 2019, and was admitted to West Jefferson Hospital, Marrero, LA where she experienced a heart attack during the following week. Alene passed away peacefully in her sleep on Wednesday, June 5, 2019. Alene will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved her. Relatives and friends are invited to attend a Memorial Visitation on Friday, June 7, 2019, beginning at 9 A.M. followed by a Memorial Service 11:00 A.M. at Leitz-Eagan Funeral Home, 4747 Veterans Blvd, Metairie, LA. Following the Memorial Service, interment will be held at Garden of Memories Cemetery, 4900 Airline Dr., Metairie, LA. In lieu of flowers, the family welcomes donations to The Gideons International, PO Box 1395, Gretna LA 70074 or to the American Heart Association in the name of Alene McNamara Watts.
- Visitation Friday, June 7, 2019
- Words of Remembrance Friday, June 7, 2019