Wilma Lee Watson

Sep 17, 1927 - May 31, 2021

East Lawn Elk Grove Memorial Park
9189 East Stockton Blvd.
Elk Grove , CA, 95624


To her mother, father, sisters, and many friends, Wilma was simply “Sweetie”; to her two sons she was “mom”; to her seven grandchildren she was “Grammy”; to her six great-grandchildren she was “Great-Grammy”; to her loving husband Don Sr., she was “Honey”, the love of his life for over 70 years. Some might say that 93 years is a long time, and it is, but to those who knew her and loved her, she left us way too soon. It is said that God has a plan for each of us and when God called to say your journey on earth is over, Wilma answered it on May 31 at 5:00 PM.
Wilma was born in Easton, PA on September 17, 1927, to Frances E. Weaver and Reverend Walter W. Reed of Louisville, KY. She met her devoted husband Donald Sr. at church while she was in Jr. High School. It was love at first sight for both of them. She graduated from Easton High School in 1945.
Wilma waited patiently while Don worked to earn his Bachelor of Science degree from Penn State University. Following his graduation from Penn State, they were married in Los Angeles, CA in 1951 and began their life together in Friant, a small town near Fresno, CA. In 1952 their son Don Jr. was born. Not long after their move to Los Angeles, CA, their second son, Darryl, was born in 1954.
Wilma was a stay-at-home mom until her sons became teenagers. Her home was always open to her son’s friends. She used those years to provide them with motherly love and important life lessons.
After moving to Sacramento in 1970, Wilma went to work for the California Employment Development Department where she supervised a dedicated staff of employees. She developed many friendships there and was well liked and respected by all.
Wilma was a loving and devoted wife. As career advancement opportunities came along for her husband, she supported him all the way, never discouraging him, even when it required relocating to another city which happened numerous times. Don often expressed how much he appreciated his wife’s support, always saying that she was a huge part of his success…”the wind beneath his wings”.
Wilma loved to play cards, go to bingo halls, and to the casinos. She had incredible luck, winning more often than the odds would indicate. She was a strong competitor but also a gracious loser. She was known for wearing sparkling, sequined hats which became her unique signature item of clothing. She also gave money regularly to her favorite charities.
During her last 13 years, Wilma received Kidney Dialysis treatment from the efficient and caring staff and doctors at the Elk Grove dialysis care facility. Her family will always be grateful to them and to the Kaiser medical teams who treated her through the years.
Wilma is survived by her husband Donald Sr. of Sacramento, CA, two sons Donald Watson Jr. (wife Pansy) of Elk Grove, CA; Darryl Watson (wife Julie) also of Elk Grove, CA; sisters Mary Theadford of Edgewater Park, N.J. and Dorothy Wagner of Philadelphia, PA; seven grandchildren, six great-grandchildren and several nieces and nephews.
Wilma was preceded in death by her parents and six siblings; sisters Frances, Bessie, Helen, and Florence; and brothers Walter and James. She will be greatly missed by her family, friends and all those who were blessed to have known her.


  • Paulette Terrell says:

    To the Watson Family,

    Your family is our family. We grieve Miss Wilma’s passing and pray that God will grant peace and comfort to Mr. Donnie and the rest of the family. Don Jr. and Darryl, our hearts go out to you. We Love You.

  • Karen Britt says:

    To Uncle Donny and cousins Don and Darryl, Aunt Sweetie meant the world to us. We, the Reed Family, are praying for your comfort. In time your memories will become a healing balm. We are thankful for the time we had together.
    Love, cousin Karen and James

  • Esther M. Lee says:

    Donnie and family,
    We were saddened to learn of Wilma’s passing. “God will take care of you.”

    Esther and Jessica Lee, Bethlehem, PA

  • Michelle Sprague says:

    Myla and family, I’m so very sorry for your loss. Praying for your comfort during this difficult time and sending lots of love.

    Michelle Sprague

  • Joannie Ornelas says:

    Dear Don and Family,
    I will not be able to attend Wilma’s service in person but am grateful that I can watch it online. I met Wilma as a co-worker over 50 years ago and we have remained friends since then. I want you to know that even though I am not able to be there with you on Saturday, you all are all in my thoughts and prayers. Sincerely,
    Joannie Ornelas

  • Anita Walton says:

    Uncle Donny and family, I’m so sorry for our lost of Aunt Sweetie, she will truly be missed. I’m also sad that we’re unable to be there, but we send our love and prayers. Love Anita & Larry

  • Tracey Thomas says:

    Mrs. Watson was so kind to me growing up. I think my love of jigsaw puzzles came from her.

  • Melanie Postell says:

    Sorry Jane’s and I could not he there. My Condolences to Uncle Don and family.

  • Shavonne Grayson says:

    The last time I saw her, I said “I haven’t seen you in so long!How are you?” She said, “oh, I’m hanging in there.” She was always so kind and gracious to me. Godspeed, Grammy. You will be forever loved.

  • JOHN and JUNE says:

    Due to a previously scheduled event “turning 70″ June and myself were not their physically but definitely in spirit. As Wilma has passed on she leaves many of us with a good positive ‘footprint” in our thoughts and minds. Fun thoughts caring thoughts and silly thoughts all shared from her big heart and sharp mind. A missed game player and “risk taker” willing to take a chance on some horses, slots and people. Will always be in our thoughts when a good game is had. God Bless and job well done.

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