Hilda Watts of Navarre, FL left this earthly world on Thursday, Nov. 28, leaving her gifts to carry on in the hearts of those who treasured her. Hilda was a native of Georgia, born in Colquitt County in 1935. She completed nursing school at Piedmont Hospital in Atlanta and beginning her career at Colquitt Regional Medical Center, Moultrie before joining the Air Force in 1960. She was a beloved friend, daughter, sister, grand and great grandmother, mother and wife.
As a friend, she was supportive and true. She looked forward to her weekly meetings with the women of the Crafty Ladies of Good Shepherd where comradery was just as important as the quilting, crafting and community service. Through the years, she was an active member of many organizations including the Fort Walton Beach Bonsai Society, the UF/IFAS Home & Community Education group, and Good Shepherd Lutheran Churches of Shalimar and Gulf Breeze.
As a daughter and sister in the Wisham family, material goods were not always plentiful. However, they had each other, creating a very strong bond and responsibility to one another. Even while living hundreds of miles apart during their adult lives, the four brothers and four sisters kept in touch, mourning the losses and celebrating the milestones of life together. In her last days, she spoke of each often, including Lora, Kenny, Irma, Bonnie and Dickie who were waiting to welcome and guide her soul on the next journey.
As a grandmother and great grandmother, she spent countless hours caring and just simply being there for each of the ten grands, their husbands and wives, and five great grands. She loved each one and they could always count on grandmother to remember a birthday or to call when too much time had passed without talking. One of her life’s goals was to make it to the eldest local grandson’s high school graduation. Sadly, for us, God needed her three years ahead of schedule.
As a mother, she loved her four children - Phillip Watts, Julie Bobbitt, Cheryl Brown and Joy Tsubooka - fiercely. With them she shared her love of the arts, reading, flower arranging, healing and plants of all kinds. She instilled a strong sense of independence in each, often to her chagrin. Leading by example, she taught the importance and gratification to be found in caring for others, along with the fine art of being polite in the southern tradition. Even when mistakes were made, she was always there to listen or encourage with a healthy and needed dose of common sense.
As a wife, she spent a lifetime, almost sixty years, with James Watts. She married 2nd Lt. Watts on July 30, 1960 while she was stationed at Eglin AFB. Hilda set aside her nursing career for 20 years to support Jim as an Air Force pilot and raise a family together. They traveled the world and stuck together through all the joys and heartbreak of life. Jim cared for her in a way that many wish for in life.
A memorial service, followed by a celebration of Hilda’s life, will be held Saturday, Dec. 7 beginning at 3 p.m. at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, 4257 Gulf Breeze Pkwy. in Gulf Breeze. Attendees are asked to not to wear black, but their favorite color. Her ashes will be interned at Barrancas National Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donating in her name to cancer research, Good Shepherd Lutheran Church of Gulf Breeze or your favorite way to help make the world a better place.