Mrs. Diane Brooke Reed Watson, known affectionately as “Miss Diane,” passed into the arms of Jesus on April 13, 2022.
Diane was born on a beautiful spring day, May 1, 1938, a daughter to the late Thomas J. and Marjorie May Reed.
For 48 years she touched the lives of countless children through her preschool and kindergarten teachings at her home. Every child that graced the doors was greeted with hugs, love, and lots of attention. She often said that there are no bad children, it’s just that some need more love than others. Those kids grew up and then their children were greeted with the same love and affection bestowed upon their parents. And if you were a student, no matter how old you were, you always called her Miss Diane and she always called you one of her children.
In addition to teaching, she also led the children’s choir as their director and was a Sunday school teacher at Union Baptist Church, a job she loved so much because it was more of an opportunity to teach the children the love of Jesus.
An impeccable accordion player and talented singer, Diane played and sang with her family, The Reed Family, for nine years, playing in churches up and down the Delmarva Peninsula, even cutting a few albums that are still favorites of church goers today.
After retirement, Diane opened up her plant business, The Flower Pot, right in her back yard just a few steps from the school that housed all “her children” and she delighted in her customers coming by to not only purchase plants and flowers, but to chat and reminisce of days gone by and to inquire how their families were doing.
Diane loved people and always put her family and others first. Often armed with food or flowers, she would visit people and spend a few minutes letting them know how important they were to her and to tell them that not only did she love them but Jesus did, too.
Diane is survived by her loving spouse of 53 years, Robert “Bobby” Joseph Watson; and her children: daughter, Roxanne Thornton Bowman, and her husband, Skip, sons, John Neal Thornton, Donnie Ray Thornton, and daughter, Anita Melissa Watson; two granddaughters, Tara Bowman Mather and Dana Brooke Judge; and one great-grandson, William Sebastian Mather. She is also survived by her niece, Brenda Reed Linton, and nephews, Thomas E. Reed Jr. and his wife, Bertie, and Harry Kent Birch and his wife, Cecilia Faye.
In addition to her parents, she was predeceased by her great-granddaughter, Sydney A. Mather; her brother, Thomas E. Reed Sr. (Buddy Tom), and his wife, Ora; and her sister, Ruth Imogene Birch, and her husband, Harry.
Diane’s life of service brought her many accolades which include the Community Builders Award in 1988 from the Masonic Lodge of Chincoteague Island, Woman of the Year in 1989 from the Chincoteague Kiwanis Club, The Leonard “Buddy” Burton Business Person of the Year in 2000 from the Chincoteague Chamber of Commerce, and a special award from the Chincoteague Vol. Fire Company in 2014 for her unwavering and unconditional dedication and love to the children of Chincoteague Island.
Visitation was held Monday, April 18, 2022, at Salyer Funeral Home Inc., on Chincoteague Island.
Funeral services were held Tuesday, April 19, 2022, at 2 p.m., at Union Baptist Church on Chincoteague Island, with the Rev. Kevin Eley officiating.
Memorial donations may be made to the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company, P.O. Box 691, Chincoteague Island, VA 23336.
Services were entrusted to Salyer Funeral Home Inc. on Chincoteague Island.