Edward Zarius Watson JR., a man of distinction, strength and courage, was born on Feb. 3, 1917 to the late Hannah Allen and Edward Zarius Watson Sr., in Earleigh Heights, Anne Arundel County, Md. After losing his mother at the age of four, his father remarried and his stepmother, Bertha Wright, raised him as if he were her own. While at Union Memorial Hospital, after a lengthy illness, he peacefully slipped away on Oct. 15 to be with the Lord.
At an early age, he gave his life to Christ and joined Shiloh Baptist Church where his uncle, Rev. W.W. Allen was the pastor. He remained faithful to his God, and prior to his death he was a member of Emmarts United Methodist Church, the Rev. Jimmie L. Ward, pastor. On Father’s Day 2011, he surprised and very much pleased the congregation when he was wheeled into the church sanctuary for Sunday’s service. This was his last Sunday in church.
Eddie was educated in the Baltimore City Public Schools and was a Feb. 1936 graduate of Frederick Douglass High School. In June of 1942, he graduated from Morgan State College. Later, he enrolled in the Howard University School of Religion where he received his Master’s of Divinity in June, 1945 under the tutelage of Dr. Howard Thurman, whom he greatly admired.
In march of 1944, Eddie Z and the late Bernice Calverta Francis were united in marriage. From this union, three children were born; Adrienne Kathryn, Edward Zarius III, and Anthony Francis.
Having a family to raise while waiting to get a position in the school system, Eddie worked on the B&O Railroad and at various country clubs. Finally, he received a call from the Baltimore City Public Schools and was able to fulfil his passion of working with and developing the minds of young children. Eddie also worked for the Department of Recreation and Parks spending many of his summers and evenings working on several part time jobs because he was determined to provide many advantages and opportunities for his children. Having spent twenty-nine successful years as a teacher, counselor, community developer and administrator, Eddie retired from the school system in September, 1978.
Edward Z. Watson Jr. leaves to cherish his memory: his daughter, Adrienne Kathryn; two sons, Edward Zarius III and Anthony Francis; six grandchildren, Adrienne Michelle, Edward Zarius IV, Kennedy Brooke, Bernice Calverta Alexandria, Taylor and Travis Oden; one great-grandson, Drake Zarius Watson, his loving companion, Ellen D. Howard and her family; his four “adopted” daughters, Jeanette E. Aska, Dr. Martina P. Callum, Rhonda L. Oden and Minister Rae Ross; two brothers-in-law, Eugene R. Murray of Los Angles, California and Louis N. Francis; one sister-in-law, Vivien Burnett; three loyal and devoted cousins, William H. Curtis Sr., (Nan), Miriam L. Curtis-Johnson, and Myra W. Curtis; and a host of other relatives and friends. He was preceded in death by his sister Mary E. Murray.