Billie Jo Watson


Billie Jo Watson, 92, of Ooltewah, passed away Thursday, Nov. 23, 2017.

Born in Benton, she was one of many young women during World War II who worked in the Oak Ridge factory that made the atomic bombs. This story was later featured in a New York Times Bestseller titled, “The Girls of Atomic City.”

She was a longtime member of Ooltewah Baptist Church and the Maggie Watts Sunday school class.

She was a past Worthy Matron of the Eastern Star in Cleveland, and also a past president of Cleveland Women’s Club.

She was an avid golfer and bowler, and was a member of the Tennessee State Championship Team for the Cooke’s Bowling Team.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Carl Austin Watson, founder of Mountain View Ford. She was also preceded in death by her siblings: Ailene Moss, Reba Moss, Evelyn Keshe, Thelma Swafford, Wallace Wiley, David Wiley and Paul Wiley.

She is survived by her children: Carla Cawood, and Sally Jayne (Steve) Greg, both of Ooltewah, Don (Beverly) Watson, Chattanooga, David (Debbie) Watson, Lookout Mountain, and Andy (Sonya) Watson, Cleveland; 14 grandchildren, 17 great-grandchildren; one great-great-grandchild; and many nieces and nephews.

The funeral will be held Monday, Nov. 27, 2017, at 11 a.m., in the chapel of Heritage Funeral Home chapel, with the Revs. Jim Gibson and Larry Williams officiating.

Burial will follow at Sunset Memorial Gardens in Cleveland, with her grandsons serving as pallbearers.

Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice of Chattanooga.

Visit to share condolences to the family and view the memorial tribute.

The family will receive friends today, from 2 to 6 p.m., at the funeral home at  7454 E. Brainerd Road, Chattanooga.


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