Marilyn Kay Watson

Marilyn Watson of Potterville, MI – beloved wife, mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, cousin, friend, and teacher – passed away after a short illness on August 19, 2023 at the age of 80. She was surrounded by her loving family in the days preceding her passing.

Marilyn was born on June 12, 1943 and grew up with her parents and three sisters in Belleville, MI. She graduated from Belleville High School in 1961 and attended Eastern Michigan University (EMU) to obtain her bachelor’s degree in elementary education, as teaching children was her passion. There she met her future husband, Dewain (Bill) Watson, also from Belleville, and they were married on June 19, 1965, one week after graduating from EMU. Bill took a job that would transfer them to various states, and Marilyn would teach at the local elementary schools. After a few years, Bill returned to EMU to obtain his master’s degree in education administration, and they lived on Marilyn’s family farm with their two young children and Marilyn’s grandmother. After completing his degree, Bill was offered a position in Charlotte, MI, and the couple moved their family to their current residence. As an example of Marilyn’s love for family, she asked her grandmother, Helen Riggs, if she would like to move with them, and Helen accepted. Marilyn spent the next seven years caring for her, planting gardens for her to enjoy as they both loved gardening and making her last years happy ones.

After her grandmother’s passing, Marilyn returned to teaching as it was one of her greatest joys, particularly children with disabilities. Her dedication to her students was evident to all, and she gave endlessly of herself to her young pupils. Her love for her family and friends also knew no bounds, and she was known for the care packages that she would send with her delicious baked treats, thoughtful gifts, crafts, and seasonal items. She took particular delight in holidays and making family gatherings festive and memorable. In recent years, she was especially devoted to her grandchildren and strove to attend as many of their school functions and life events as possible. She enjoyed traveling, and went on many trips, within the U.S. and abroad, with her husband, mother, and sisters. She loved gardening and sharing her produce, was a bird enthusiast and kept her feeders full year-round, enjoyed baking, cooking, and sharing her creations, and was an avid reader and former library board member, focusing on programs for children. Her devotion to her family, friends, students, and community will live on forever in all of our hearts and will never be forgotten. Her work is now finished, the lessons that she taught us have been learned, and her rest is well deserved.

Marilyn is survived by her loving husband of 58 years, Bill Watson; children, Julie (Robert) LaMacchia and James (Deb) Watson; grandchildren, Derek (Hannah) Watson, Brooke Watson, Carter Watson, and Alex Feighner; great granddaughter Zoey Watson; sisters, Joanne (Mark) Williams and Debbie Cartwright; and many beloved nieces, nephews, and cousins. She was preceded in death by her parents, Henry and Alice (Riggs) Herkimer; her sister and brother-in-law, Janet (Robert) Loria, and her brother-in-law, Paul Cartwright.

Marilyn is in the care of David C. Brown Funeral Home, 460 E. Huron River Dr., Belleville, Michigan 48111, and will be laid to rest in Belleville’s Hillside Cemetery in a private family memorial and interment this fall. The family invites you to make a donation in Marilyn’s memory to the charity that was close to her heart, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.