Edith Johnson Watson


Edith Johnson Watson (formerly Edith Hagen), a former resident of Globe, died at the age of 92 on July 3, 2021, in Paris, Arkansas, where she had lived for 19 months. She was born Edith Myrtle Johnson April 26, 1929 on Morgan farm near Princeton, Illinois, the county seat of Bureau Township, the only daughter of Clay James Johnson, a farmer, and Martha (Mattie) (née Cass) Johnson, a homemaker. She attended elementary school in Manlius, Illinois and graduated from Princeton High School, where she played the baritone horn.

She worked as an AT&T switchboard operator until she met and married Harry W. (Hal) Hagen, a welder in the Army Air Corps, Chanute Field, on June 19, 1948 in the Manlius Baptist Church. They returned to Globe, Arizona where Harry worked in the family road construction company and ranch, and Edith was a homemaker and helped work the ranch. They briefly lived in California and Texas before returning to Globe. They were divorced in early 1978.

She married David W. Watson December 15, 1978 in Phoenix, Arizona, and they lived in Apache Junction. A few years later they started Henry’s Hamburgers in Apache Junction. After the business closed, they started the Overcoming Way Apostolic Church in Apache Junction, where Edith became an ordained pastor. She brightened every service with her uplifting style while playing the organ. After Dave’s retirement, they settled in Payson, Arizona. In 2019 they moved to Paris, Arkansas to be with her husband’s family.

Mrs. Watson loved to be around people and animals, and her cats and dogs were treated with great kindness. Her artistic abilities teamed with other abilities in many ventures: hand crafts in making wood fiber flowers and painting ceramics; culinary skills in making wedding cakes and preparing lavish holiday buffet dinners for family and friends; and sewing in creating her daughters’ wardrobes that displayed her eye for color combinations and accessories. Her general homemaking skills featured on construction company road jobs where she turned a very small Prairie Schooner trailer into a second home. She supported her daughters’ school activities and was an excellent home schooler, her love of reading being a special legacy. Though naturally shy, her leadership skills impressed Texans sufficiently to elect her state president of the Parent Teachers Association (PTA) circa 1959-60. Her love of people and business acumen enabled her to demonstrate and sell Tupperware in the brand’s early days. Church activities and her faith were very important. She was raised in the Northern Baptist Church and strongly held to her Christian beliefs all of her life. Her life moto was Proverbs 3:5-6: ‘Trust in the LORD with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight.’ (NASB) As her health failed, she missed playing the organ at church.

Mrs. Watson is survived by her husband, David Watson of Paris, Arkansas; her daughters E. Elaine Hagen McBride (John) of Globe and Linda L. Hagen of Tucson; her nephew Richard Johnson of California; nieces Joyce Gallucci, Shirley Imfeld (John) and Debbie Bell (Scott) of California; nieces Kit Johnson Boggs and Kimberly Johnson; step-children Pam Namiki of Las Vegas, Nevada, Danny Watson, Michelle Cook (Tom) of Paris, Arkansas, Suzie Walker (Don) of Paris, Arkansas, and Thorina Watson of Booneville, Arkansas; several step-grand-children and step-great-grandchildren; and her poodle, Precious, whom she loved to the end.

She was preceded in death by her parents, two brothers Russell Johnson and Wayne Johnson, two sisters-in-law Audrey Johnson and Gail Steiding Johnson, two former sisters-in-law Leah Sheppard Johnson and Mary (Polly) Bradley Johnson, and her first husband.

Funeral services were held July 13 at 2 p.m. in the Roller Funeral Home Chapel, 1700 E. Walnut St., Paris, Arkansas.

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