Watson, Cosby Higginbotham, Saginaw, Michigan


Passed away Sunday, April 3, 2011 surrounded by family. She was 92 years. She was born to the late Mary Harless and John W. Higginbotham on May 3, 1918 in Boissevain, VA. Cosby, as the eldest child of ten, formed her nature of duty, caring and leadership early in life. She was the first female from her valley to graduate from high school and a graduate Cum Laude of the nursing program at Charleston (WV) General Hospital. She joined the Army Nurse Corps in 1941 and achieved the rank of Captain through service in England and France during WWII. She was in England during the Normandy Invasion and helped to treat soldiers injured during the assault. Cosby met the late Burton T. Watson in 1943 at Camp Chaffee, Arkansas, and they were married in Charleston, WV on March 12, 1946. He died March 21, 1979. Cosby supported him in the background as he worked to build Watson Dairy Corporation, Burt Watson Chevrolet, Crooked Creek and the original First State Bank of Saginaw. Together they enjoyed time spent with family at the Higgins Lake cottage and the Hutchinson Island condo. Cosby traveled extensively, including trips to Russia and China and twenty year of travels with her sisters. She was a devoted mother and grandmother, and family was always first, but she also had time to serve her community as a VA Hospital Volunteer and a Lifetime member of the Saginaw General Hospital Auxiliary. She was also a lifetime member of the VFW, and a charter member of the WWII Memorial and Women’s War Memorial in Washington, DC. Her interest in family history led her to membership at the local, state and national levels in Colonial Daughters of America, Colonial Dames of America, DAR, Daughters of Colonial Wars, among others. She was particularly interested in the DAR supported Mountain Schools in North/South Carolina, and made several visits there. Cosby was also a member of First United Methodist Church, First Circle of The King’s Daughters and Sons, National Farm and Garden Club, and the former Saginaw Junior Woman’s Club. She held leadership positions in many of the organizations to which she belonged throughout her lifetime. In addition to her husband and parents, Cosby was predeceased by brothers John, Bernard, Roger and Bill, and a son-in-law, Jeffrey Wallace. Left to carry on her legacy are her children: Mary Alice Goedert (Rick) and Richard T. Watson (Linda) of Saginaw, and Carolyn Sue Watson of Novato, CA; her grandchildren: Melissa Wallace Calice (Tony) of Royal Oak, Sarah Wallace (fiancé Jeff Shelden) of Chicago, Lillian and Anna Nickelson of Novato, CA, Hannah and Richard Watson of Saginaw, and Hillary (Brett) Henderson of East Lansing; her siblings: Alma Steendam, Joyce Nicolas, Shirley Robertson, Freda Cameron and Jack Higginbotham, and many nieces and nephews. Cosby especially loved her role as “SuperNana” to her four little GREAT-grandchildren, Rocco and Mia Calice and Beckett and Lola Henderson. Funeral services, with military honors, will be held on Saturday, April 9, 2011 at 10:00 a.m. at W. L. Case Funeral Home, 4480 Mackinaw Road, with Reverend Kathryn Snedecker officiating. Private burial will take place at Roselawn Cemetery. Friends may call at the funeral home where the family will be present on Friday, April 8 from 2-4 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. and again on Saturday, April 9 from 9:00 until the time of the service. Those planning an expression of sympathy are invited to consider the Saginaw Community Foundation – “Cosby H. Watson Nursing Scholarship”, the Higgins Lake Foundation, or First United Methodist Church. www.casefuneralhome.com