Ralph Watson

Published 12:20 pm Monday, July 11, 2016

Ralph Watson

July 8, 2016

Ralph Watson, 87, of Dawsonville, Georgia, passed away at his home Friday, July 8, 2016, surrounded by his family.

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A graveside service is set for 10 a.m. Tuesday, July 12, 2016, at the Hannatown Cemetery located in south Decatur County, Georgia. Brian Garmon, Douglas Watson, Tyler Mincey, D.J. Strong, Caleb Olivent, and Cameron Olivent will serve as pallbearers. The family will receive friends at Faceville United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall following the service.

A celebration of life is planned for 11 a.m. on July, 23, 2016, at the Dahlonega United Methodist Church in Dahlonega, Ga.

Ralph was born to Max Olen and Emma T. Watson on June 26, 1929, in Tallahassee, Fla., along with his identical twin, Rudolph Watson of Tallahassee. He had two older siblings, T.C. Raker (deceased) and June W. Revells of Chattahoochee, Fla. His three younger siblings were Betty J. Swenson, Dawsonville, Thomas K. Watson (deceased), and Max O. Watson (deceased).

Ralph graduated from Leon High School in Tallahassee. After serving in the United States Air Force from 1951 to 1955, he felt the call to preach, and was ordained in June 1955. Following his ordination, Ralph attended and graduated from Emmanuel College in Royston, Ga.. Ralph served as the pastor of Deland Florida Pentecostal Holiness Church for eight years. While in Deland, he attended Stetson University. Following his years in Deland, the conference sent Ralph and his wife, Mary, to Orlando, Fla., to manage a church-owned nursing facility. In 1965, Ralph and his family moved to Atlanta to work in sales and ministry while continuing his education. Once settled in Atlanta, Ralph graduated from Georgia State University. Later, Ralph attended Emory University, earning a Doctorate of Ministry degree in 1977, while serving as pastor of Sardis Congregational Christian Church in Covington, Ga..

After completing his doctorate degree, Ralph joined the North Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church. He served Faith UMC, Riverdale, Ga., Oglethorpe UMC in Atlanta, Salem UMC, Conyers, Ga., and as associate pastor at Saint Timothy UMC in Stone Mountain, Ga. Upon his retirement in 1994, Ralph ministered with Dr. Eddie Fox and Dr. Winston Worrell for the World Methodist Evangelism Institute at Emory. During this time they traveled around the world together, providing training to Methodists on six continents.

Ralph was married to Mary E. Hanna Watson at her parent’s home in Decatur County, Ga., on June 2, 1950, and they have been married for 66 years. They have two children: Duane Watson and his wife, Deborah, of Bainbridge, Ga. and Debbie Delong and her husband, Charles of Dahlonega. They have five grandchildren: Brian G. Garmon of Flowery Branch, Ga., Douglas D. Watson of Bainbridge, Kimberly M. Mincey of Dahlonega, Dayna M. Watson of Birmingham, Ala., and Deanne M. Strong of Bainbridge. They have nine great-grandchildren: Sarah J. Reese of Athens, Ga., Christian R. Russell of Flowery Branch, A. Tyler Mincey of Dahlonega, Brian G. Garmon, Jr. of Flowery Branch,  Emma V. Watson of Bainbridge,  Cadence M. Garmon of Flowery Branch, Kaitlin M. Mincey of Dahlonega, Camden P. Mincey of Dahlonega,  and soon to be born Malia Rae Strong of Bainbridge. Ralph is also survived by many nieces and nephews.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to: World Methodist Evangelism Institute,

1531 Dickey Dr. Atlanta, GA 30322, or Dahlonega United Methodist Church, Debt Reduction Fund, 107 South Park St., Dahlonega, GA 30533