Carol Cranmer Watts, 97, of Tabor City, NC, passed away January 5 at Novant Health New Hanover Regional Medical Center, Wilmington, NC.
He was born March 6, 1925, in Wilmington, NC, a son of Ollen Onslow and Nellie Huffaker Watts.
A graduate of Tabor City High School, he entered US Army service in 1943 and after finishing Advanced Infantry Training was assigned as a rifleman in the 385th Infantry Regiment, 76th Infantry Division, part of Patton's Third Army.
On February 19, 1945, he suffered severe shrapnel wounds from German artillery and was evacuated to a hospital in England. He earned the Purple Heart, the Bronze Star, the Combat Infantry Badge, and the National Defense Service Medal.
After the war he began a 40-year career with the US Postal Service as a rural letter carrier. He and his wife, Gracie, enjoyed taking their children on many camping trips during the summers.
He was a long-time member of the New Life Missionary Baptist Church in Tabor City and served many years as a deacon, treasurer, and song leader.
In their retirement years they enjoyed working in the yard and garden together, and attending auctions.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his brother, Bennie Watts; his sisters, Geneva Watts Dyches and Bernice Watts Joyner; and a daughter, Melissa Grace Watts.
He is survived by his brother, Stewart Ollen Watts of Tabor City; his wife of 73 years, Gracie Arnette Watts and their four children: Timothy Carol Watts of Wilmington, NC; Deborah Watts Gray and husband Eugene Gray of La Grange, NC; Melanie Watts Cox and husband Terry Cox of Loris, SC; and Benjamin Alan Watts of Cape Carteret, NC; ten grandchildren and nine great grandchildren.
Visitation will be held Sunday, January 8 from 6:00 - 8:00 PM in Inman Ward Funeral Home.
A graveside funeral service will be held at 11:00 AM Monday, January 9 at Forest Lawn Cemetery, Tabor City, officiated by Rev. Garrett Gasque.
A service of Inman Ward Funeral Home and Crematory of Tabor City.