Carolyn Bass Watson-Dickens, 90, of Moultrie, died March 21, 2011, at the home of her daughter.
A private graveside service is planned.
She was born in Worth County, Ga., on Aug. 4, 1920, to pioneer Worth County families. She was the daughter of John Everett Bass and Lillie Belle Houston Bass; granddaughter of John Edward Houston and Rosabella “Rauzie” Moree Houston.
“Carolyn was so like her ‘Daddy’ — they both loved everybody,” her family said.
Her father’s parents were James Everett Bass and Catherine Virginia Odom Bass of Warwick, Ga. Her family said she stated often that her “Grandmother Bass” was the most talented person that she had ever known.
“Bass descendants cherish the land; now, fifth and sixth generations till its precious soil,” said her family.
Her “Grandmother Catherine,” called “Cattie,” was one-half Cherokee Indian.
“Carolyn found this out in her latter years, and was so happy to be blessed with Cherokee blood. Carolyn loved the Native American people. During her years living in Arizona and New Mexico, she was able to interact with these special and precious people. In those days, she had no idea that she was of Native America descent. ‘Blood cries out to Blood,’” her family also said.
She was the wife of Capt. Samuel Marshall Watson, World War II Commanding Officer-Chemical Operations, Southwest Pacific Theater of Operations-NewGuinea/Air Depot Australia - 509th Composite Group. Most significantly, he was a member of the 43rd Aviation Squadron Heavy Bomb Group. (Marshall Watson also did research for ten years for the Center for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta.)
After World War II, Capt. Watson, a War Department chemist, was a member of SAC (Strategic Air Command). In July 1947, he was transferred to Walker Air Force Base, in Roswell, N.M. Carolyn and their daughter, Marsha, were not allowed to transfer to Roswell with him. They remained at the family homes in Georgia. In 1949, he was transferred to Sandia Base in Albuquerque, N.M., and she and Marsha were allowed to join him there. At Sandia, he was a member of “The Team” of the Armed Forces Special Weapons Project — Sandia Base/Los Alamos, led by Brig. Gen. R. M. Montague, USA Commanding. Sandia is now Sandia National Atomic Laboratories.
While living in Albuquerque, the Watsons lived on the now famous Route 66. The couple and Marsha loved the years they were stationed out West, remembered the family.
They filled Capt. Watson’s “time offs” sightseeing in New Mexico, Arizona, and surrounding states, and across the border into Mexico. He spoke fluent Spanish.
“Their trips were filled with adventures, and memories of historical places that make up the uniqueness of this sacred land that Americans have come to know as the Old West,” the family also remembered.
When he and the 509th were transferred to Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson, Ariz., Carolyn once again moved into “high gear,” the family said. It was another new base, new home, new friends, and a new school for Marsha.
“The Watsons loved ‘Old Tucson’ — the town where Hollywood producers and directors came to film many of the famous old western movies that are so loved even today,” the family said.
They spent many weekends getting to know the Native Americans, who were always on site.
“We are each given one life to live. May we appreciate this priceless gift, and not waste a minute of time. The clock is ticking for each of us. Carolyn Watson and Capt. Watson are now gone but the images of the breathtaking beauty of the Sandia Mountains’ snow caps live on in the mind of their daughter. The beauty of the Western skies — the sunrise and sunsets were cherished times for the Watson family. It was an era that will never be forgotten,” the family stated.
After Capt. Watson died in 1964, she married Clinton William Dickens, Colquitt County farmer and Moultrie antique dealer. He was also a World War II veteran, serving in the European Theater.
“Clinton Dickens was a God-fearing man. He honored the Lord Jesus Christ in all that he said and did. He was 53 and she was 45 when they married. They shared 30 years of deep love and sweet devotion,” her family remembered of him.
Dickens died in 1996.
She was a retired registered laboratory technician and a surgical nurse. She was also an antique dealer and member of the Baptist church.
“Carolyn was one of ‘The Greatest Generation.’ Gen. Douglas MacArthur’s famous quote is befitting of this Prayer Warrior: ‘Old Soldiers never die... they just fade away...’ What we mortals look upon as the death of our godly Beloved has been greatly exaggerated. They have merely stepped through the veil, into a wonderful place filled with those they have loved who have gone on before them... they have entered an eternity of supreme joy and happiness. It is the ultimate end to a life well-lived. An august woman, Carolyn Watson-Dickens leaves a legacy of consummate grace and gentility. She is remembered for her dedication to the medical profession, and to the Kingdom of God. The joy of her Lord was always her strength,” her family said of her.
She was preceded in death by a brother, William Everett Bass.
Survivors include her daughter, Marsha Carol Watson Gandy and husband Rufus Edward Gandy, who was always there for Carolyn; granddaughter, Jennifer Lynn Gay of Colquitt County; beloved sister and brother-in-law, Nelda Virginia Bass Barnes and Quenton Lawson Barnes of Moultrie; nieces, Sherrie Ann Grow Flynn of Kennesaw, Ga., and Gerrod Beth Barnes Hortman of Winston, Ga.; nephew, Brent Barnes of Powder Springs, Ga.; special cousins, Garland Crowe DuPree and Dawn DuPree Stone of Fitzgerald, Ga., Benita Bass Griffin of Albany, Ga., Tracy Ann Powell J.D. of Rochester, N.Y., Bendita Houston Nixon of Gainesville, Fla., Col. John Bradford Powell (Retired) of Olympia, Wash., John Edward Houston III of Albany, Ga., Jim Houston of Camilla, Ga., and George Ray Houston of Sylvester, Ga.; and special friends, the Rev. C. R. Gamble and wife Geneva of Warwick, Ga., Dorothea Stripling of Moultrie, Frances Powell Watson of Tifton, Ga., Donna and Davis King of Sylvester, Ga., and Bonnie and Larry D. Mauldin of Knoxville, Tenn.
Baker Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
Please leave condolences to the family at www.moultrieobserver.com.