Watson, Billie Jo

Worked In Oak Ridge Factory That Made Atomic Bombs During WWII

Friday, November 24, 2017
Billie Jo Watson, 92, of Ooltewah, passed away Thursday, Nov. 23, 2017.

Born in Benton, Tn., Mrs. Watson was one of many young women during World War II that worked in the Oak Ridge factory that made the atomic bombs.  This story was later featured in one of New York Times Bestseller’s entitled, “The Girls of Atomic City”.

Mrs. Watson 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, Tn. and also a past president of Cleveland Women’s Club.

She was an avid golfer and bowler where she was a member of the Tennessee State Championship Team for the Cooks Bowling Team.

Mrs. Watson was preceded in death by her husband, Carl Austin Watson, founder of Mt. View Ford. She was also preceded 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, 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 and 1 great-great-grandchild; many nieces and nephews.

Funeral services will be held Monday at 11 a.m. in the chapel with Rev. Jim Gibson and Rev. 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 www.heritagechattanooga.com to share condolences to the family and view the memorial tribute.

The family will receive friends Sunday from 2-6 p.m. at Heritage Funeral Home, 7454 E. Brainerd Road.

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