April 20, 1942 - July 16, 2020
Service Date: July 25, 2020
Robert Charles Watson
April 20, 1942 – July 16, 2020
Robert Charles Watson, 78, walked with Jesus Thursday, July 16, 2020. His funeral services will be conducted at 2 p.m. Saturday, July 25, 2020 at Joyner’s Funeral Home, Wilson. Interment will follow in Evergreen Memorial Park, Wilson. The Rev. Nathan Carter will officiate.
The family will receive friends Friday evening from 6 – 8 p.m., July 24, 2020 at Joyner’s Funeral Home, 4100 Raleigh Road Parkway, Wilson.
Robert was born in Fairfield, Alabama on April 20, 1942 to Sallie and Fred Watson, the youngest of 7 children, 3 of whom were deaf. He attended Alabama School for the Deaf (ASD) in Talladega and later graduated from Gallaudet University in 1968 with a B.S. in Physical Education.
Robert married the love of his life (and fellow Gallaudet alum), Jean Grubb on June 21, 1969. Both Robert and Jean moved to Wilson to work at the Eastern North Carolina School for the Deaf (ENCSD) as academic teachers.
Robert was passionate about Deaf education and his local Deaf community. His curiosity and vision led him to establish and participate in many Deaf clubs, activities, and organizations including the Wilson Association of the Deaf, the Junior National Association of the Deaf, and many others. He was active in sports, coaching both Boys and Girls Basketball, leading his girls team to win the Mason-Dixon Girls Basketball Championship in 1988. Robert has received numerous honors and awards and has been inducted into the Sports Halls of Fame at both ASD and ENCSD. Robert retired from ENCSD after thirty years of teaching.
After retirement he brought his hard work and dedication to Forest Hills Baptist Church in Wilson. He helped build strength and community in the Deaf Church there, and abroad on mission trips working with deaf communities in Uruguay in 2009 and 2010. He was also one of the founding members of the Wilson Deaf Senior Citizens group and served as its first president.
A lifelong football fan, Robert was always cheering on his favorite football team, the Alabama Crimson Tide, in every season and bowl game they played (and won). Roll Tide!
His work, dedication, and commitment has earned him the respect of his peers, colleagues, students, athletes, family, and friends. He was known as a kind, gentle soul who offered help and advice to those in need. Robert was a leader in the Deaf community. He was a respected pioneer and Deaf culture advocate. Most of all, he was a loving husband, father, and grandfather who loved his family deeply and who is remembered as a constant source of inspiration, support, and guidance.
Robert is survived by his wife, B. Jean Grubb Watson; daughter, Vanessa Exum and husband, Joey of Fountain; son, Kevin Charles Watson and wife, Jamie Patterson of Weaverville; grandchildren, Cris Exum, Nadia Watson, Wallace Exum and wife, Allison and Olivia Exum; his brother, John Watson and wife, Maye of Alabama, and many cousins, nieces, nephews and friends.
Condolences directed to Joyner’s Funeral Home and Crematory at www. Joyners.net.