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Obituary of Linda Joyce Watson
Linda Joyce Watson
Linda Joyce gracefully entered this earth on December 23, 1946 to the union of Sam and Ermar Lee (Nunn) McKinney. Like her other siblings, Linda Joyce was born in the family home in Smithville, Mississippi. She entered into eternal peace before sunrise on Monday, March 9, 2020, surrounded by family.
I have finished my course…..A course that began with humble beginnings in Smithville, Mississippi, Linda Joyce was born the second youngest to five siblings. She demonstrated exceptional scholastic abilities early in her education in the Amory Public School System and upon graduation from West Amory High School, she would enroll in Rust College. She later completed her undergraduate training at Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, Michigan earning a BA in Business Administration. She would later continue her education at Western Michigan University earning a Master of Education in Educational Leadership.
I have kept the faith…..Her first steps in her “faith walk” began at Spruell Chapel United Methodist Church in Smithville, Mississippi. Later in life, she would establish a strong foundation of faith for herself and her children at Mount Zion Church of God in Christ under the leadership of the late Superintendent George E. Bennet Sr. She would spend the next three decades of her life, planting, nurturing, and cultivating the seeds of her faith under the leadership of the late Bishop William Burrel, the late Bishop Willie Burrell and Suffragan Bishop Avery Burrel at the Christ Temple Apostolic Faith Church of Muskegon Heights, Michigan. Upon relocating to Lansing, Michigan with her daughter Carla, in 2017, she joined Bethlehem Temple under the leadership of Bishop Alfred Singleton, II where her daughter Delsa Chapman was also a member.
Henceforth, there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness….Her true passion was in education. During the more than four decades she would spend in Muskegon Heights, Michigan, she served in multiple civic, social and most important, faith-based endeavors. Weather it was her time in the Black Women’s Political Caucus or advocating for educational justice alongside her husband, Tommie Lee Watson, she valued education. She was a quiet, yet strong champion ensuring that every young person had an opportunity to pursue their dreams. Linda Joyce was the epitome of a virtuous woman and used her training in business administration to provide for her family as a single mother working at General Telephone Electric for more than twenty years. However, it was her time serving as the Director of Early Childhood Education in the Muskegon Heights Public Schools where she saw firsthand her own journey turn into her purpose. To date, there are countless young mothers who credit “Mrs. Watson” for creating a space for them to continue their education and lay a foundation to raise their children in a loving and nurturing environment.
Which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day….She learned early on, that life’s journey has many sojourners with whom we witness God’s grace, mercy and blessings unfold. While studying at Rust College, she met and married Calvin Mitchell Turner. To this union, she would birth Delsa Denise, Calvin Maurice and Carla Michelle. As a young couple, they would leave the south and travel to the Midwest to join thousands of educators from HBCUs to merge southern values with Midwestern sensibilities. Linda Joyce, having faith to know that ITS ALL IN THE PLAN, would continue to raise her three children in the Midwest and ultimately make her way to Muskegon Heights, Michigan. In the fall of 1982, Linda Joyce would meet and ultimately marry Tommie Lee Watson in summer of 1983, and her family would grow from the sacred trinity to the divine nine. Delsa Denise, Calvin Maurice and Carla Michelle would be perfectly enfolded by five older sibling, Mary Ann, Cathy Marie, Tommie DeWayne, Warner and Wynne and younger sibling Karriem Sadot. The union of Tommie Lee and Linda Joyce would commence the “black Brady bunch” and together the family would continue in service, love, commitment to faith, family and community.
And not to me only but unto them also that love His appearing…..She leaves to cherish her memory her nine children, Mary Ann Landingham and Cathy Marie (Keith) Blackshire, both of Muskegon, Michigan; Tommie DeWayne (Karen) Watson of Grand Rapids, Michigan; Warner (Margaret) Watson of Muskegon, Michigan; Wynee Watson-Barnett of Muskegon Heights, Michigan; Dr. Delsa Denise (Glen-deceased) Chapman of Lansing, Michigan; Calvin Maurice (Denise) Turner of Southfield, Michigan; Carla Michelle Turner of Lansing, Michigan; and Dr. Karriem Sadot Watson of Chicago, Illinois; along with 16 grandchildren, five great grandchildren, a host of nieces, nephews, God children and special friends who occupied a special place in her heart. She also leaves to cherish her memory her dear sister, Dr. Shirley Anne (LTC (Ret.) Stanley) Turner of Forestville, Maryland; her loving brother, Robert Lee (Sarah) McKinney of Smithville, Mississippi; and her sister-cousin, Gloria Ann (Harold-deceased) Duncan. She was preceded in death by her parents, Sam and Ermar Lee McKinney; siblings Lillie Mae Stegall and James Earl McKinney; and husband, Tommie Lee Watson.
Visitation will be 4:00 - 8:00 P.M. Friday at Bethlehem Temple Church, The Breadhouse, Chapel with the Family Home from 10- 11 A.M. Saturday at church with the Homegoing Services at 11:00 A.M. Saturday, March 14, 2020 at Bethlehem Temple Church, The Breadhouse, 1518 S. Washington Ave. Lansing, Michigan 48910. with Bishop Alfred P. Singleton, II and Suffragan Bishop Avery Burrelofficiating. Interment will follow at Delta Center Cemetery.To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Linda Watson, please visit Tribute Store