Juanita Monica Watson was born December 23, 1923 to the union of James K. Childress and Anna Hale. Juanita was the eldest born into this union; including Bernadine (transitioned at age 8), Bernadette (Edgar) Major, Oscar (Ethel), Norman (Louise), and James (Barbara). Her parents and siblings preceded her in death.
Juanita was born in St. Louis, Missouri but the family moved to the south side of Chicago when she was very young. She was raised and baptized in the Catholic faith; accepting Jesus Christ as her savior with Confirmation at the age of 11. She would later share that “I could feel the presence of Jesus come into my heart” and from that moment she said she was forever changed.
Juanita began her formal education at St. Elizabeth Catholic School. From there she attended DuSable high school. She attended Lucy Flower Nursing School where she graduated with a diploma in Practical Nursing in 1955. She furthered her education by later completing her Licensed Practical Nursing (LPN) and Registered Nursing (RN) certification. She started her nursing career at Cook County Hospital. From there she worked at Shore View Manor as Head Nurse and worked at Jackson Park Hospital where she retired in 1985.
Juanita understood the value of using your God-given talent to make ends meet (aka “side hustle”). She was a skilled seamstress with requests that ranged from simple alterations to wedding gowns. She was also a professional typist, often amazing the family as we heard and watched her type ninety words plus per minute on a Royal Manual typewriter, with the replicable ribbon. Little did she realize, she was instilling in her children the power of using your talents to become an entrepreneur. In addition to these skills and attributes, her leadership abilities served her well as a member of the Illinois chapter of The Benevolent and Protective Order of The Elks. There she won many accolades, and was crowned Queen of the Illinois-Wisconsin State Association in both 1992 and 1993.
Juanita married at an early age and to this union six children were born: Priscilla Glees, who preceded her in death as an infant. She later met and married the love of her life, O’Neil Watson, who preceded her in death in 2004. To their union they created a loving family of ten children: Patricia (Walter) Payton; Henry (Ethel) Glees; Anthony (Patricia) Glees; Juanita (Louis) Carson; Jennifer Haywood; Anna “Kathy” (William) Daniels; Merry (Johnny) Watson-Lane; Cynthia Watson; Patrick Watson; Mark (Debra) Watson.
In addition to her children, she leaves to mourn twenty-four grand children: Ralph Jr., Annette, Henry Jr., Justin, Dawn, LaToya, Matthew, Carrie, Carl, Cyndy (“Moosie”), Wardell IV, Brian, Kevin, Kimberleigh, Kamille, William lll (B.J.), Cedric, JoMerra, John, Kearby, Yadira, Kara, Sonja and Mark Jr.; thirty-six great grandchildren; fifteen great-great grandchildren, and eleven nieces and nephews.
Through her family, her legacy shall live forever.
Chicago, IL 60649
Chicago, IL 60649
Dolton, IL 60419