Frances Ford Watt, 93, of Weaverville, NC, passed away July 20 at Solace Hospice in Asheville. She was born on November 23, 1926 in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The daughter of the late Ulysses A. Ford and Lois Blessing Ford, she was raised in Chattanooga and in Dayton. She graduated from Rhea County High School and from the University of Tennessee, where she was a member of Alpha Omicron Pi sorority. Frances was a lifelong Methodist.
Frances lived in Atlanta from 1960 to 2015, when she retired from the Development Office of the national headquarters of the Arthritis Foundation. She then relocated to Chattanooga until moving to the Asheville area in late 2019 to live with her daughter Linda. Frances had an adventurous spirit and loved to travel. She lived in Japan for two years as a young mother, visited every country to which her daughter was assigned in the Foreign Service, traveled to Alaska and Hawaii, and went on two European cruises. She was an accomplished pianist, writer, and family historian. She loved nothing more than being with her family, reminiscing, and occasionally bursting into song.
In addition to her parents, Frances was preceded in death by her brother James Ford, and sisters Margaret Knight, Virginia Voigt, and Betty Byron; by her nephew Charles Voigt; and by beloved cousins Charles and Mildred Valentine.
She is survived by her daughter Linda Watt (Leo Duncan) of Weaverville, NC; grandson Thomas Crosby (Kristine) of Cary, NC; granddaughter Laurie Crosby (David Hearst) of Hermitage, TN; great-grandchildren Ben and Amelia Crosby and Leilah Hearst; step-grandson Jeffrey Duncan; nieces and nephews James Ford, Sara Jane Locke, Jane O’Neal, Susan Kimbrough, Nancy and George Valadie, Kay and Gary Hicks, Sandra Gass, Joan Byron, and Edward and Diane Byron; and by cousins Charles and Barbara Valentine, Jim and Pam Valentine, and Susan Whitten.
Graveside services will be held on Saturday, August 1 at 11:00 am at Buttram Cemetery with the Rev. Ken Pierce officiating.
Coulter-Garrison Funeral Home in Dayton is in charge of arrangements.`
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