Caroline Baker Watts, 91, of Morgantown, West Virginia, died on December 7, 2018, in Dallas, Texas. Born Caroline Isabell Baker, on February 24, 1927, she was the second daughter of Howard Adam Baker and Bertha Keller Baker. Caroline was born in a log cabin in St. George, Tucker County, West Virginia.
Caroline graduated as valedictorian from Parsons High School, in Parsons, West Virginia in 1946. Her goal following graduation was to attend West Virginia University. However, knowing that she would have to work in order to attend WVU, she first attended Fairmont Business College for one year to obtain secretarial training. Caroline enrolled at WVU in August 1947 while working full time initially as a secretary for a local insurance agent, and thereafter at WVU Main Library and the WVU Office of the Registrar.
While attending WVU, Caroline met her husband to be, Royce J. Watts, a student WWII veteran in 1950, and they were married on September 3, 1950. Following their return from their honeymoon trip to Washington, D.C. and New York City, Royce was recalled to active duty and spent the next 12 months in Korea in a combat unit.
Caroline received her undergraduate degree in home economics and child development from WVU in 1954 with High Honors, and her masters degree in home economics and child development from WVU in 1957. After Royce accepted a position in West Virginia Governor Underwood's administration, she began her career as an educator in 1958. Caroline taught at Spring Hill Junior High in South Charleston, West Virginia and at Clay-Battelle High School in Monongalia County. After working for Hope Gas for several years, she returned to education at Morgantown High School, where she taught biology and trained student teachers for 22 years. Caroline was a member of Alpha Delta Kappa, an international honorary organization of women educators.
Caroline retired in 1989 to assist Royce in arranging conferences in connection with his work at WVU and the West Virginia Coal Mining Institute. In this role, she was able to travel throughout the United States, replacing her passion for teaching with a new passion for travel.
Caroline was preceded in death by her parents, Howard Adam and Bertha Keller Baker, her sister, Frances Baker (who died shortly after birth), her sister, Patricia Roy, and her husband, June Roy, of Morgantown, her brother, Howard Melvin Baker, and his wife, Emma Lee Baker, of Spring Lake, North Carolina, and her brother-in-law, Robert C. Hannon, of Lexington, North Carolina. Caroline is survived by her husband of 68 years, Royce J. Watts, her son and daughter-in-law, R. J. Watts, II and Maureen W. Watts, of Dallas, Texas, her sister, Anna Hannon, of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, her sister, Beverly Harki, and her husband, David Harki, of Morgantown, and numerous nieces and nephews.
Visitation will be held at Hastings Funeral Home in Morgantown on January 4, 2019, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. A memorial service to celebrate Caroline's life will be held at Wesley United Methodist Church in Morgantown on January 5, 2019, at 1:00 p.m., with Rev. Dr. Randall Flanagan officiating.
A burial service will be at Arlington National Cemetery at a date to be determined by the staff of Arlington National Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions to a charity of your choice. Online condolences may be made to the family at www.hastingsfuneralhome.com.