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Obituary: Nancy Mae Watts | Sept. 23, 1933 — Sept. 13, 2021

Nancy Mae Watts, our matriarch, stitched family values into our bloodline for 87 years. In this feature, we honor her contribution to our lives.

Ms. Watts made evident, “no one was going to take care of me and my kids. I had to get out there and work for everything I got in life.” Sister learned to trust herself and place her faith in God, maintaining fellowship at Daniel Chapel and Mt. Zion churches.

Nancy preferred a life of comfortable leisure over labor, a homebody. With eyes closed, we see Tater huddled over the stove stirring homemade icing. Crumbs from her chocolate, caramel, and coconut cakes never touched the floors in her Harvey, Dixmoor, Robbins, Phoenix, Markham, Chicago, or Homewood homes. Time spent at Granny’s house was stiffened by lessons in upkeep, respect, and decency. Mama did not play about home training!

Ms. Nancy’s attire was “cleaner than the Board of Health.” As one of the Woods Sisters, she would frequent Hawks Tavern, White Rose, Talk of the Town, and Skins Lounge. Ole Girl also enjoyed taking trips! Bill made her way to Florida, Detroit, California, Arkansas, Wisconsin, Ohio, Missouri, Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia, Indiana, Oregon, Virginia, Maryland, Illinois, and Washington, DC.

Aunt Nancy favorited being around the family’s lighthearted laughter. Jokingly, Grandma Na$ty joined into playful teasing, taking pride in knowing no one took offense to us making good fun. Nan did not look for validation from others. Nancy Mae said, “people will talk about you regardless. What’s most important is to have a peace of mind!”

Grandma’s spirit is in the presence of the Lord. Our Sweet Nancy is treasured for giving us her best!

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