Martin Lee Watts


Martin Lee Watts, 95, died peacefully surrounded by his family on Saturday, June 24, 2023. Martin, also known as Sonny, Willie, Daddy, and Papa was born to the late Martin Luther and Lucy Lee Watts on May 7, 1928, in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. After high school, Martin decided to forgo a football scholarship and chose to serve his country in the Air Force where he participated in the Berlin Airlift. He met his future wife, Nina, and they were married on December 16, 1951. They lived in Mississippi and Louisiana, and eventually settled in Lexington, S.C., with their four daughters. Martin loved Jesus with his whole heart and lived his faith every day. He and Nina were founding members of Round Hill Baptist Church where he served as Deacon, went on Mission trips, helped with numerous church functions, and was the official church “greeter.” After many years of service, Martin retired from Dixie Pipeline and spent time traveling with Nina and his family. He also spent many weekends enjoying time with his grandchildren.

He is survived by his baby sister, Carolyn Batte; and his loving daughters, Ann (Bruce) Smith, Nell Watts, Vickie (Roger) Williams, Terri Watts, and Dorcas Dooley. Papa was fiercely loved by his grandchildren, Stefni (Jason) King, Kristin (Dave) Hamblin, Braxton Raybon, April Raybon (Chris Lafferty), Ashley (Ramon) Ozaeta, Brooke Smith, Kale and Alex Williams, and Jamie Dooley; 12 great-grandchildren, Jacob (Lauren), Haley, Makenna Grace, and Aiden Hamblin, Sullivan, Leelan, and Vera Lafferty, AJ Williams, Azzure and Brynlee Ozaeta, Elliot and Bennet King; 2 great-great granddaughters, Briella and Charlotte; and numerous nieces and nephews.

He was predeceased by his beloved bride, Nina Jones Watts; his parents; and brothers, Maurice Allen “Bubba” and Walter Watts.

Visitation will be held 10 a.m. Monday, July 17, at Round Hill Baptist Church in Lexington, S.C. A Celebration of Life service will immediately follow at 11 a.m. If you knew our Daddy, you know that he wore shorts all year-round. If you feel led to do so, please feel free to wear shorts to the service. He would be tickled at the idea! In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to Round Hill Baptist Church, 230 Persimmon Lane, Lexington, SC 29072. Barr-Price Funeral Home and Crematorium, Lexington Chapel is assisting the family.

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