Esther Louise Whidden Watson, age 92, passed away at the Big Bend Hospice House in Tallahassee, on March 20, 2010, four days shy of her 93rd birthday. Esther, the oldest of four daughters was born to Thomas Daniel and Ida S. Albritton Whidden in Bartow, on March 24, 1919.
She met and married a young golf professional, Jesse. He enlisted in the U.S. Army and Esther followed him to several bases prior to his being deployed during WWII to the European theater in Italy. Upon his return to the states, she moved with him and his career as a golf club pro to Winter Haven, Lake Wales, and Madison. After Jesse’s death, she returned to Bartow to care for her mother and be near her family.
Esther became an accomplished golfer winning many trophies over the years. She enjoyed golf, playing bridge, gin rummy, and nickel knock, serving at the Madison and Bartow Hospitals and an active “Pink Lady,” and collecting cherub and angel figurines. She was a believer and was of the Baptist faith. She was charming and likable people person which endeared her to many.
Esther was born into a strong close knit Florida “cracker” family, she placed family and friends high on her list of priorities. They all will miss her bright clear blue eyes, vivacious personality, charming smile, and laugh. She would tell us to rejoice, remember the food times and have a party.
She was predeceased by her husband Jesse W. Watson; son, Jerry Watson; and her sisters Laverne Speight, Sue Crooks, and Gracie Freeland. She is survived by her son and daughter-in-law, Jessie W. Watson, Jr. “Jay” and Rosemary; grandsons, Michael T. and his wife Kelly A. Watson, and Kevin J. Watson; daughter-in-law Sandra P. Watson “Sandy” of South Carolina; god daughter and niece Pamela Speight Westberry of Bartow and numerous other nieces and nephews.
The family wishes to thank Dr. Shah for her attentiveness to Esther while she was in Tallahassee Memorial Hospital and Dr. Dorn, the nurses and staff at the Big Bend Hospice House for the care and comfort that they provided Esther.
Services and interment will be at Wildwood Cemetery in Bartow, FL, on Friday, March 23, 2012 at 4 pm. Arrangements are being handled by Beggs Funeral Home in Tallahassee and Whidden Funeral Home in Bartow. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that those who wish, make contributions to the Big Bend Hospice at 1723 Mahan Center Blvd., Tallahassee, FL. 32308 or a charity of their choice.