Mary L. Watkins

Published 9:40 am Thursday, June 20, 2013

Mary Satterwhite Lewis Watkins departed this world surrounded by her immediate family and made her transition into the spiritual realm on June 12, 2013 at 7:49 pm in Louisburg, North Carolina at the tender age of 91.

She was born in Ahoskie, NC to the late Alexander Satterwhite and the late Madie Freeman Satterwhite on January 24, 1922. As a young child, Mary became a member of The Newsome Grove Baptist Church but also attended and supported The New Ahoskie Baptist Church where other family members served.

Mrs. Watkins attended C.S.BrownHigh School in Winton, NC and subsequently graduated from Elizabeth City State University, Elizabeth City, NC.  Mary also pursued a Master’s Degree at North Carolina Central University in Durham, North Carolina.

After graduating from Elizabeth City State University, Mary married the late William Henry Lewis, the owner of a taxi company, Lewis Shoe Shop, café and barbershop.  Mr. Lewis also was the first African-American hired to work at the Western Union Telegraph Office (carrying telegrams), Ahoskie Post Office (handling mail) and the Bank of Ahoskie (taking pictures of checks). Due to William Henry being a Free Mason, Mary became a charter member of the Rose of Sharon Order of the Eastern Star No. 600. From this union a daughter, Brenda, was born. After the death of her first husband, Mrs. Watkins married Mr. George Watkins from Norfolk, VA who was a carpenter and builder of homes.

Mrs. Watkins worked for 30 years as a teacher in the counties of Bertie (John Bond Elementary School) and Hertford (Robert L. Vann and Ahoskie Elementary) school systems. During her tenure as a teacher, she received many certificates and awards for meritorious service.  Her former students often attest to the fact that Mrs. Watkins was an excellent teacher, loved her students, and disciplined them well. Ms. Mary was a member of the Hertford County Retired School Personnel.

Mary Satterwhite Lewis Watkins loved fishing, teaching and her family.

She leaves behind a daughter, Brenda Lewis-Flowers (William Jr.) and four grandchildren William Leon III, Cornelius Alexander, Shar-Narne’ LeFleur and Shaka-Ensonig T’imbre; sisters Elizabeth Deloatche, Christine McCullough, Madie Bradley, Naomi Singletary, Shirley Thompson, Avoyne Mikula; as well as a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

Mary was loved by her family and the community she served. Her kind deeds performed for family and friends were many. She remains alive in the hearts of all those who knew her.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, June 22, 2013 at New Ahoskie Baptist Church. Burial will be in the Satterwhite Family Cemetery, Ahoskie.

Reynolds Funeral Home, Ahoskie, is handling the arrangements.