Geneva Watts

Obituary of Geneva Watts

Funeral services for Geneva Minnie Ray Watts, age 98 of Columbia will be held 11:00 AM Tuesday, May 8, 2018 from the Columbia chapel of Riser & Son Funeral  Home with Bro. Randy Ray and Bro. Eric Harriman officiating. Visitation will be Monday from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM  at the funeral home. Burial will follow in the Fellowship Cemetery west of Columbia. 

Geneva Minnie Ray Watts was born on October 16, 1919, and departed this life on May 5, 2018, at the age of 98. Grandma—as she was known to so many that loved her—was married to Thomas Watts and had two children, Carolyn Watts Duff and Mary Faye Watts. She had two grandchildren, Shelia Duff Howard and husband, Keith and Brian Duff and wife, Gretchen, and six great-grandchildren—Taylor, Kade, Scottlyn and Deacon Howard, and Drew and Tate Duff.


Serving as pallbearers will be Kade Howard, Jamie Duff, Jared Duff, Jeff Duff, Jerry Allen Duff, Charles Duff, Colby Ellerbe and Tye Ellerbe.


Grandma loved life and loved her children and grandchildren fiercely—she loved anyone else who crossed her path in the very same way. She never met a stranger and always made everyone feel welcome and loved. She never passed an opportunity to lend a helping hand throughout her life; she did this by taking care of so many people—not just physically taking care of people but also spiritually, emotionally, and mentally. Her soft-spoken words of encouragement and wisdom were able to build a strong shelter to surround them from the trials they were facing. Good or bad, she never wanted to miss a thing.


I truly believe that she was the closest thing to a saint that I will ever be witness to in this life. She never put herself first but made sure that all others were in line before her. That was always the way she wanted it to be. She never wanted to dominate any conversation; she would often tell me that she just wanted to sit back in the corner and listen to everything happening around her. Listening—a trait that no one was better at than her: listening to the crying of happy or sad tears; listening to laughter; listening to words of despair and words of encouragement; listening to the happiness and glee in the voices of children. While holding your hand and rubbing it softly, she listened like no other. She had a way of making you believe that everything would be all right.


She told me once that she had been around death in some form or fashion her whole life. She said, “Honey, it doesn’t scare me. It’s just a part of life.” No worries! When my faith would begin to waiver, hers would remain rock solid; she would say that all of us are just trying to get to the same place and that there would be twists and turns along the way and paths going different directions, but that in the end our paths would lead us to the same place—heaven. She said all I needed to do was keep my faith. So, I have tried to do just that, even in these times of sorrow. Not sorrow for Grandma but for myself. With Papaw Tom, Mary Faye and all of the others that she has loved throughout her life, Grandma has no sorrow now in the arms of her Jesus that she has served so faithfully.


From the time that I was a small child, my grandmother has always been my hero, and she will forever be my hero. She’s the one that I will always hear in times of happiness and sadness, when I am lonely or afraid, when I am rejoicing and all the times in between. She has touched each one of our lives here on this earth just by being Grandma. We will miss her for the rest of these earthly days, but I know God has been waiting on her homecoming for 98 years.