Photography

Annette Watson

April 8, 2022

Obituary Image

Obituary

A CELEBRATION OF LIFE AND LOVE OF GIVING!

Our beloved wife, mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, cousin, former teacher, and friend, Annette Oakley Watson (83) of Raleigh, North Carolina, transitioned to a “higher calling” on Friday, April 8, 2022. For those who knew her, “Annette O. Watson” loved life, loved living, but adored her family and friends the most.  She had a gift of giving beyond the realms of what most would accept as humanly possible.  What brought her “joy” was to see that gift manifest in others. 

Born to the late James Lotrick and Mamie Peace Oakley, on June 2, 1938, in Granville County, NC, Annette Oakley, adopted a love of family, church, and community at an early age. She was educated in Granville County School System and was a dedicated student and scholar while attending Joe Toler School.  She then attended North Carolina Central University in Durham, NC and graduated in 1959 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Secondary Education. 

Annette’s love of people and education prompted her to accept a position with the Salisbury City School System in Rowan County, NC (1959).  Her first assignment, at Price High School as the new Home Economics Teacher, changed her life forever.  It was there she met the love of her life, Odell Watson, who a first year elementary school teacher.  They married and began their family, with the birth of their only daughter, Sherri.  While in Rowan County, Annette went on to accept other teaching positions, including Salisbury High School’s Vocational Home Economics Teacher, and Rowan Technical Institute’s Adult Basic Education Program Instructor.

A decade later, Annette and Odell relocated to Raleigh, NC having being offered and accepted new job opportunities. Annette began working at Sanderson High School as a Vocational Home Economics teacher (1973-1987). While at Sanderson, she forged a partnership between her classroom, the Wake Community College System and key corporations in the Triangle area to give students practical “hands-on” experience in vocational and technical fields.  Her work became the forerunner of the federal government program known as “Tech-Prep,” which is still a part of the nation’s Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act today.

The gift of this program earned Annette the opportunity to serve as the Project Director of the NC Regional Vocational Education Research and Development Project (1987-1989). Until her retirement from Wake County Public Schools in 1997, Annette served as a Teacher and Curriculum Assessor for Human Resources (1989 - 1991), and Head of Development for the School-to-Career Initiatives (1991-1997) in the school system.

Also, while in Raleigh, Annette’s love of people and community emerged as she and her family joined St. Ambrose Episcopal Church.  There she served on the Altar Guild (over 25 years), served regularly as a Lay Reader.  She served on the Vestry multiple years, as Senior Warden of the Vestry, and was a Past-President of the St. Ambrose Episcopal Church Women.  Annette was also the first female confirmed as a Eucharistic Minister at St. Ambrose and served in this position for over 20 years.  She was also an active member of the Caregivers Ministry as well.

Annette’s service extended into the Raleigh/Wake Community at-large, which included:

Raleigh Alumnae Chapter, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. – Inducted into the North Carolina Central University Chapter of Delta (1958); member of the Sorority for 64 years; served two terms as president (1989- 1993), served two terms as Vice President (85-89); chairperson of the Education Committee; chairperson of the Thirty-Second Area Founder’s Day Observance - 1999; chairperson of the Delta Carousel for several years; Chairperson of the Betty Shabazz Delta Academy for the Raleigh Chapter during its inception and active program years; Membership Intake Chairperson for 1987-88; Delta of the Year 2004.
Raleigh Chapter of The Links, Inc. – Member for 29 years; Immediate Past President (served two terms); Membership Committee Chair; Chaired the Arts Facet. Link of the Year 2002.
Wake Education Partnership Board of Directors - Member.
Raleigh Chapter of Chums, Inc. – Member, Past President (1998-2002), Past Treasurer; Chair of Special Projects Committee.
Board of Directors, Communities In Schools in Wake County – Member and served on the Program Committee (1998-2001).
Board of Directors for State Employees Credit Union Member (1995-1998).
North Carolina Association of Volunteer Emergency Families, Inc. - Executive Board member (served 4 years) (1990-1995)

Among Annette’s most recent and beloved achievements was the co-founding of Strengthening The Black Family, Inc.  Founded in 1980, STBF, Inc. was incorporated into a non-profit 501(c)3 in 1987 with the goal of improving the quality of life and survival of families in Wake County, with a special focus on traditional values to strengthen black families. Annette served as STBF, Inc.’s President of the Board of Directors for five years and then as Executive Director for 14 years (1998-2012).  Through the organization, she coordinated the Teens Against AIDS Program, the Healthy Families Initiative and the MAN (Men As Navigators for Health) Program.  Her work there also led to the coordination of the Crosby Afterschool Programs and Summer Camps.  During Annette’s tenure at STBF, Inc., over 100 families were honored for serving as models of strength, tradition, and perseverance, while hundreds more received health, educational, and economic insight and support.

The love of family, church, community, and life are among those unique “gifts” Annette Oakley Watson gave us. Though we may not see her daily, among the special “treasures” she left with us and for us is: She is with us now and will be always.  She loved each and everyone too much not to be!

Annette is survived by, Odell Watson, Raleigh, NC, her husband of 61 years; daughter, Sherri Watson Hyde, Lake Mary, FL; grandson, Isadore Odell Hyde (Dale), Lake Mary, FL/Cincinnati, OH; grandson/grandnephew, Skyy Christian Jenkins, Bowie, MD; aunt. Dr. Mildred O. Page, Durham, NC; nieces, Cheryl W. Hudson, Durham, NC; Tawana D. Raney, Bowie, MD; Crystal Oakley, Oxford, NC; Ruby Oakley Peace, Oxford, NC; her nephews, Gregory A. Watson, New Albany, OH; Obie Oakley, Oxford, NC;  her sisters-in-law Zelphia G. Watson, Durham, NC; Catherine M. Oakley, Raleigh, NC; grandnephews, Kevin G. Hudson, Chester, VA; Gregory A. Watson, Jr., New York City, NY; Andrew C. Watson, New Albany, OH; grandnieces, Dr. Courtney Hudson Hinton, Raleigh, NC; Elan M. Watson, New Albany, OH/Washington, DC; and, adopted daughter, Monica Rose Raleigh, NC; a host of other relatives, adopted family members, and friends whom she loved dearly and adored.
 

Please Note: In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations in Annette Oakley Watson’s name in support of the following:

St. Ambrose Episcopal Church Altar Guild: Donations can be made by check to St. Ambrose Episcopal Church/Altar Guild.  Gifts may be sent to St. Ambrose Episcopal Church, ATTN: Rector’s Discretionary Fund, 813 Darby Street, Raleigh, NC 27610.   Please include “Altar Guild Donation for Annette Oakley Watson” in the memo line.  All donations are tax-deductible and will be acknowledged to the family.
UNC REX Heart and Vascular Fund: Donations can be made online at https://rexhealthcarefoundation.com/donate/. Select “UNC REX Heart and Vascular Fund” on the drop down list. Gifts may also be sent to the UNC Health Foundation at 123 West Franklin Street, Suite 510, Chapel Hill, NC 27516. Please include “In memory of Annette Oakley Watson” in the memo line.  All donations are tax-deductible and will be acknowledged to the family.

***Annette's funeral service will be held on Thursday, April 14, 2022 beginning at 12:00 PM at St. Ambrose Episcopal Church, 813 Darby Street, Raleigh, Nc 27610.  A viewing and visitation including selected tributes will begin at 11:00 AM prior to the service.  On Wednesday evening, April 13, 2022 from 2:00 PM to 6:00 PM, there is a "walk through" public viewing scheduled at Haywood.  Later from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM, her cherished organizations will perform final rights in the C A Haywood, Sr. Memorial Chapel, 2415 South Wilmington St., Raleigh, NC 27603.  Her entombment in The St. Ambrose Episcopal Church Columbarium will be held at a later date.

******Please Note:  We are requesting that all in attendance wear a face covering or mask for the viewing, visitation, and service.  Also know that 3 feet of social distancing is expected.  .... Thank you for understanding.

 

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Annette Watson, please visit our floral store.


Services

Viewing
Wednesday
April 13, 2022

2:00 PM to 6:00 PM
C.A. Haywood, Sr. Memorial Chapel
2415 S. Wilmington Street
Raleigh, NC 27603

Organizational Presentations
Wednesday
April 13, 2022

6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
C.A. Haywood, Sr. Memorial Chapel
2415 S. Wilmington Street
Raleigh, NC 27603

Visitation
Thursday
April 14, 2022

11:00 AM to 12:00 PM
St. Ambrose Episcopal Church
813 Darby Street
Raleigh, NC 27610

Funeral Liturgy
Thursday
April 14, 2022

12:00 PM
St. Ambrose Episcopal Church
813 Darby Street
Raleigh, NC 27610

© 2022 Haywood Funeral Home & Cremation Service. All Rights Reserved. Funeral Home website by CFS & TA | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Accessibility