Lora Watson


Lora Alice “Pokey” Long Watson, age 98, died Sunday, Dec. 19, 2021, at her beloved childhood home in Cullowhee, N.C.

She went to her Lord peacefully, surrounded by her three children. Lora was a lifelong resident of Jackson County and a member of the Cullowhee Baptist Church.

Lora graduated from Western Carolina Teachers College in 1941 and taught school in Jackson County for 30 years. During World War II, Lora traveled to Canton, Ohio to assist in the war effort as a riveter on bomber doors during her summer vacations. Lora was a teacher by example, grounded on the principles of faith, hard work, love of her country and absolute devotion to her family.

Lora was preceded in death by her husband of 51 years, Frank Watson; her parents, Berder and Mary Long; a sister, Doris “Dot” Willet; grandson, Damien Blake Watson; and great-grandson, Gabriel Blake Tomforde.

She is survived by her three children, Mary Jo Jones (husband Carroll), Brenda Gray and Frank Watson Jr. (wife Donna), all of Cullowhee. Also surviving are five grandchildren, Kyle Gray of Belford, N.C., Shawn Tomforde of Sylva, Autumn Lance (husband Kenneth) of Mills River N.C., Whitney Crowe (husband Randall) of Huntersville, N.C., Zackary Watson (wife Alex) of Sylva. She also leaves behind her precious great-grandchildren, Gavin Tomforde, Waylon and Maroc Crowe, Arabella Watson and Elijah Lance. She will be greatly missed by her loyal companion, Jackson, a pit bull dog that guarded her for the last several years of her life. She is also survived by Donna Coggins of Tuckasegee, her wonderful friend and caretaker, who made it possible for Lora to remain in her home for the past several years.

Graveside services will be held for friends and family at 1 p.m. today (Thursday, Dec. 23, 2021) at Wike Cemetery in East LaPorte, N.C.

A celebration of Lora’s life will be held at 2 p.m. at the East LaPorte Recreation Area, 6912 Hwy. 107, Cullowhee, N.C. The Rev. Jack Hinson will officiate both services.

Appalachian Funeral Services and Crematorium will be assisting with the services. The family would respectfully request that mask use be observed.

In lieu of flowers, please make donations to PSC Partners Seeking a Cure, 6900 E. Belleview Ave., Suite 202, Greenwood Village, CO 80111, an organization that seeks a cure for rare liver diseases; or your favorite charity.