Nulan Lee Watson, 89, of Boone, N.C., passed away at Watauga Medical Center on March 27, 2022.
Nulan had many passions, one of them was auto body work and fixing cars. He started working on cars for his uncle at the age of 14 at Smith’s Garage. He went on to work at several places, before opening his own body shop in the mid 1960’s. In the years operating Watson’s Body Shop, people would come from all around to get him to work on their car. He continued to operate his shop for the next 50 years, only stopping around the age of 80 when he was no longer able.
Another passion he had was his love of riding motorcycles, and spent lots of time riding across the country with family and friends. He shared his love of motorcycles with his son Ricky, and the two went on many adventures together. He rode his motorcycle across the United States eleven times, driving it to every state except Hawaii; and he said if there were roads to Hawaii, “he would have already been there.” He also made trips on his motorcycle through Mexico and Canada, once driving through Canada to Alaska. On his trip to Mexico, he was able to bring back 7 sombreros on his motorcycle, one for each of his grandkids. Sunset Beach was also a favorite spot for him and Pearl, which turned into a special vacation place for the whole family.
His greatest passion of all, however, was his family and God. He never missed an opportunity to express his love for them, in words and actions. He worked hard to provide for his family, and made sure they all enjoyed life together. There was never a time that the kids and grandkids did not visit with him that he did not tell them stories of his adventurous life. By the end of the story, everyone would be laughing, and Nulan had the best laugh of all. Nulan loved, more than anything, to make people laugh and laugh with them. He was a faithful member of Zionville Baptist Church. He always had a pocket full of gum to hand out to all the kids, and they always sought him out in church. The kids affectionately gave him the nickname “Papaw Chewing gum.”
His greatest love was his wife of 64 years, Pearl. If his family learned anything from watching his love for Pearl, it would be to love with all you have, and it is truly the most important thing you can give. The daughter received this love from him, and returned that love in the care they gave him. They were honored to take care of him. The last five years of his life without Pearl was very hard on him, and he looked forward to the day he was reunited with her and their son, Ricky.
He was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Pearl Woodring Watson; a son, Ricky Watson; his father and mother, Dee, and Francis Watson; three brothers, C. B. Watson, Joe Billy Watson, Deamus Watson; two sisters, Virginia Brown, Arlene Anderson; father-in-law and mother-in-law, Glenn, and Bina Woodring.
He is survived by three daughters, Pam Grubb and husband Glenn, Terri Miller and husband David, Diane Phipps and husband Freddy; one brother, Harold Dee Watson; one brother-in-law, Earl Woodring, three sisters-in-law, Wilma Sutherland, Thelma Taylor, Lona Woodring; seven grandchildren, Cindy Issacs and husband Frankie, Jason Grubb and wife Callie, Jessica Radford and husband Craig, Tiffany McDaniel and husband Mark, Jennifer Miller, Wendy Clifton and husband Eric, Leslie Tankersley and husband Todd, 12 great-grandchildren and one great-great-granddaughter, as well as numerous nieces and nephews. A special family friend Mike Moody, and his beloved cat.
The family will meet at the Watson residence 580 Old Bristol Road, Boone.
Funeral services will be conducted at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, March 30, 2022, at Zionville Baptist Church. Pastor Derick Wilson will officiate. Entombment will follow in Mount Lawn Memorial Park and Gardens Mausoleum.
The family will receive friends from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday night at Hampton Funeral Home Chapel.
Flowers appreciated or memorials may be made to the Mount Lawn cemetery association, P.O. Box 1787, Boone, North Carolina 28607.
Online condolences may be sent to the Watson family at www.hamptonfuneralnc.com.
Hampton Funeral and Cremation Service is in charge of the arrangements.