On Saturday, October 10, 2009, Linda Ledford Watson, 61, of Rabun Gap, GA, died quietly in her sleep of complications from Crohn’s disease. She was born June 25, 1948 in Macon Co., NC, to the late Lake Randolph and Ruth Virginia Anderson Ledford. She was preceded in death by her parents; a brother, Johnny Ledford; and a cousin who was raised by Linda’s parents, Virginia Anderson Thompson Stevenson.
Linda was a woman of few flaws and many virtues. Her heart was open to anyone in need, and her home often overflowed with family and friends alike. She was active in her church and in the community, and heavily involved in the lives of her large, extended family.
She was an accomplished seamstress and quilter. She often sewed clothing for her family, especially in the early years when her children were young. Over the years, many a young bride came to Linda for help with her wedding dress, and often for help managing the wedding itself. Linda also completed several quilts for her family and others. Her latest projects included sewing wall hangings for the youngest of her parents’ great-grandchildren. She was also working on a memory quilt for her eldest grandchild.
Linda loved the holidays, but she also had a way of making each day into a special occasion. Some days might be marked by an arrangement of freshly cut flowers straight from her yard, and others by a favorite family meal, but each day was precious to her, no matter how it was passed.
To her husband, she was wife, companion, and partner, having worked with him for many years at the Rabun County Farm Bureau. They were active in Valley Fun and Recreation (both being avid card players), and travelled together to many memorable locations.
To her children, she was SuperMom. She was the Mom who baked goodies or picked up a child when another parent was running late. She was the Mom who was always willing to volunteer, whether for chaperoning a bus or sewing costumes. In fact, many of those costumes were ones she made and wore herself, just to make an event memorable for her children and their friends. During her children’s school days, she was active in the Band Boosters, the Athletic Boosters, and the PTA. She was the score keeper, and the team mascot, and the loudest one cheering on every child, no matter which side they played for. She never turned down an opportunity to pitch in if she could help it.
To her grandchildren, she was Me-Mom. When PBJs were needed for a bus ride to a football game, she delivered them to the school freshly made, and then followed the bus to the game just to cheer the team on. She never missed an event in her grandchildren’s lives, nor did she ever miss an opportunity to spend time with them.
She was a stalwart friend and a devoted sister. Two weeks before her death, she helped cook a special meal for the senior members of her church. The week before her death, she spent much time consoling the family of her two nieces, whose father, Linda’s former brother-in-law, had just been killed. She spent many days making the family rounds, or helping others in whatever way she could.
Many other platitudes could be expressed about Linda, but the final one should be this, that she was quietly devout in everything she did. She held a firm, unwavering belief in God, and there is no doubt that she has joined Him in a better place.
Linda is survived by her husband of 41 years, Varney Watson, of the home; daughter Dawn Watson and son David Watson, both of Rabun Gap; daughter Dee Dillard and son-in-law Claude Dillard, of Dillard, GA; grandchildren Bryce and Bailey Dillard, of Dillard, and Caleb Watson, of Rabun Gap; sisters Jean Ledford VanHook, Liz Ledford Ledford, and Debi Ledford Watts Nylund, all of Franklin, NC; sister Sylvia Ledford Spell of Aiken, SC; sister Bonnie Ledford Shirley of Clayton, GA; brothers Wayne Ledford, Jim Ledford, Benny Ledford, David Ledford, and Joey Ledford, all of Franklin; Timothy Thompson of Rabun Gap; Kieva Stevenson of Clayton, GA; and many beloved brothers- and sisters-in-law, nieces, nephews, and friends.
Visitation was held Sunday, October 11, 2009 at Beck’s Funeral Home in Clayton, GA. A memorial service was held Monday, October 12, 2009 at the Head of Tennessee Baptist Church in Dillard, GA, officiated by the Reverand Doug Porter. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation.