|Birth: ||Aug. 6, 1923|
|Death: ||Aug. 8, 2013|
Joyce May Watson was born August 6, 1923 in the Stewards Mill Community of Freestone County; her parents were Marvin Lee Watson and Sallie Sophronia Manahan. Both her parents descended from the Stewards for whom the community was named. Joyce graduated from Fairfield High School and went to work in Fairfield. She married Billie Hugh Bonner on January 30, 1942. Joyce was working for Algy Stroud when Hugh was sent to California prior to being shipped overseas during World War II. When denied time off to go with him to California, she quit and went anyway. Upon her return, she worked in the Freestone County Tax Office where one of her duties was determining the amounts of delinquent taxes and sending the notices. Joyce saved all Hugh's military pay and most of her salary and this enabled them to purchase their land along the Trinity River and to pay for it within three years. It was Joyce who encouraged Hugh to take chances with investments. After Hugh's father told Joyce that when he worked for A. T. Watson, her great-grandfather, at the Stewards Mill Store he remembered that Mr. Taz rode into Fairfield every Saturday night to gamble until he had his leather satchel full of money before he returned home, Hugh referred to Joyce's urges as her "Watson gambling blood."
As a girl, Joyce attended the Baptist church just across the road from her house. After her marriage, she became a member of Fairfield Harmony Presbyterian Church. During the following years she either taught Sunday School or served as Sunday School Superintendent until turning 65. She was a recipient of the Lifetime Women of the Church Award and a past member of the Ladies Auxiliary of the VFW Post 5872 in Fairfield.
Others marveled at how two people could be so close, so much in love, and work toward common goals. Everyone always knew they had a knack for knowing the good deal and taking advantage of it. Joyce maintained a beautiful home and treasured all family heritage. Her yard and flowers defied description. Joyce lovingly cared for her grandmother, Anna Watson; her aunt, Jessie Whitaker; and her parents. She also made sure that Hugh got the care he needed. Known for always being there when help is needed, she shunned the spotlight or credit. In semi-retirement, Joyce and Hugh enjoyed traveling and toured much of the United States and part of Europe.
Family was very important to Joyce. She treasured her children, Billie Hugh, Jr.; Frank Watson; Sara Joyce and her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Marvin Lee Watson (1895 - 1971)
Sallie Sophronia Manahan Watson (1897 - 1972)
Billie Hugh Bonner (1921 - 2001)
Barbara Victoria Watson Morris (1919 - 2002)*
Joyce May Watson Bonner (1923 - 2013)
Marvin Lee Watson (1933 - 2002)*
Created by: Michael Edd Bonner
Record added: Jan 27, 2013
Find A Grave Memorial# 104231500