Jo Ellen Watson

July 23, 1947February 22, 2018
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Jo Ellen Watson, 70, Passed away February 22, 2018 at home with her husband after succumbing to Primary Progressive Aphasia dementia. She was born in Huntington, West Virginia on July 23, 1947.

She was preceded in death by her parents, James William and Nell Marie Moulton.

She graduated from Marshall University in Huntington West Virginia with a bachelors in Early Childhood Education & Teaching and later with her Master’s Degree from Old Dominion University. She retired in 1999 after 30 years teaching in the Virginia Beach Public Schools. She was a long time faithful member of Community United Methodist Church in Virginia Beach where she was active in many aspects of church life including the Martha Circle, United Methodist Women, Joyful Noise Hand Bell Choir and as an usher. She was the former Director of the Virginia Tea Society and was a former member of the Fun Time Cloggers. Anyone that met her had found a caring friend and was fortunate to have her joyful spirit in their lives. She is survived by her husband of 48 years, Chris Watson; sister Jeanne Bennett and husband David, nephew J. Matthew Jameson and his wife Kelly of Pennsylvania; niece Leigh Anne Bernal, husband Jon and great nephew Truman of Utah; step nephew Chris Bennett of Alabama; great step niece Libbi Bennett; step niece Dana Bennett, great step niece Elaina Griffith; and great step nephew Alex Griffith of North Carolina.

Very special thanks to Maddie, Ali, Melissa, Doris, Tracy and Jane for their love, care and genuine compassion. We were especially lucky to have them in her life. Also, to Genesis Rehab Services for her excellent therapy. In addition, we are grateful to Heartland Hospice Services for their support, counsel and guidance.

The family will welcome friends for visitation Thursday March 1st from 6 until 8 PM at Smith & Williams Funeral Home Kempsville Chapel, 4889 Princess Anne Road, Virginia Beach. A Celebration of Life Service will be held March 11th at 2 PM in Community United Methodist Church, 1072 Old Kempsville Road, Virginia Beach with a reception to follow in the church social hall.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Untamed Spirit Therapeutic Riding & Educational Program, 3943 Dawley Road, Virginia Beach VA 23457, Community United Methodist Church, 1072 Old Kempsville Road, Virginia Beach VA 23464 or to a charity of your choice.


  • Visitation Thursday, March 1, 2018
  • Celebration of Life Sunday, March 11, 2018

Jo Ellen Watson

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February 26, 2018

Jo Ellen was a good teacher, and children who were in her class were most fortunate.
Condolences to her family.
Charlotte Roe Dechert Collins

Ellen Burns

February 26, 2018

Chris, I met Jo Ellen at several volunteer functions with the Va. Beach Library Department. A very loving person who will be greatly missed. Please know you will be in my thoughts and prayers during this delicate time. Fondly, Ellen Burns

Jane Zinn

February 26, 2018

My heart is broken for you, Chris. JoEllen had an angels spirit and made all who knew her happy to call her friend. Our friendship with both of you, including bridge club and BBQ dinners, were fun and full of laughter. May God bless you at this time with comfort and peace.

Kathy Moritz

February 24, 2018

So very sorry for your loss and that we can not be there in person.

Kathy and Joey Moritz, Bella, Shayna, Haley, and Joseph

February 24, 2018

I would like to offer my deepest sympathy to the family. It's in times like these when the loving promises of our Heavenly Father, like that of seeing your dear loved one again can bring you comfort and can even soften some of the pain that you are feeling deep within your hearts.
1 Thessalonians 4: 13-14.
J. B. in Atlanta

Billie Sue Graybeal

February 23, 2018

So sorry to hear of JoEllen's passing. We were classmates at HEHS in Huntington WV. I remember her fondly. Sympathies to her family.