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Harriet Ruth Harper Watson

March 28, 1936 – April 5, 2013

ST. JOSEPH — Services for Harriet Ruth Harper Watson, 77, of St. Joseph, who died peacefully in her sleep Friday, April 5, 2013, at Oaks Nursing Home in Monroe, will be at 2 p.m. today at Christ Episcopal Church in St. Joseph with the Rev. Canon Gregg L. Riley officiating.

Burial will follow at Legion Memorial Cemetery in Newellton under the direction of Young’s Funeral Home.

Visitation will be at 1 p.m. today in the Parish Hall behind Christ Episcopal Church in St. Joseph.

Mrs. Watson was born March 28, 1936, in Shreveport, the daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Albert Jonathan Harper.

She graduated from Byrd High School in Shreveport and Newcomb College of Tulane University, where she was a Pi Beta Phi and elected homecoming queen. Her education continued with a master’s plus 30 from University of Louisiana at Monroe. After 20 years of public school teaching, primarily in Tensas Parish at Newellton High School and Davidson High School, she continued her love of learning. She earned a degree from the Paralegal Institute of Philadelphia, Penn., and studied for her master’s in pastoral care at Loyola University in New Orleans. She enjoyed living in Colorado from Denver to Buena Vista, where she was very involved in the Episcopal church and volunteered to teach at several prisons.

Mrs. Watson eventually moved back to St. Joseph to be near her family and friends. She was active in the St. Joseph ministerial alliance and Christ Episcopal Church. She also served on the boards of the Shepard Center, Tensas Council on Aging and the LaSalle Community Action Committee.

She will be remembered for all the lives she touched through her teaching and big heart, and mostly for all the greeting cards she loved to send.

Mrs. Watson was preceded in death by her parents.

Survivors include her daughter, Rebecca Newell Watson Vizard and son-in-law, Michael Rene Vizard of St. Joseph; granddaughter, Sarah Scott Vizard of New Orleans; grandson, Michael Ross Vizard of Nashville, Tenn.; and brother and sister-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. Albert Jonathan Harper Jr. of Shreveport. Mrs. Watson also claims many nieces and nephews, godchildren and friends whom she loved to write, visit and call.

Pallbearers will be Clyde Ray Arnold, Winn Blanche, Frank Burnside, Ricky Foster, Billy Guthrie, Glen Walker, Ron Walker, Ben Watson, Brooks Watson and Scott Watson. Honorary pallbearer will be Jack Grace Jr.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Christ Episcopal Church, St. Joseph, any Tensas Parish school of the donor’s choice, University of Louisiana at Monroe, Tulane University or Byrd High School in Shreveport.