Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Calendar of the 2021 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Days of Commemoration in Kingsport-Tri Cities

Please click on the pictures below to make them bigger -  See you here!

Thursday, January 7, 2021

Bernice Brice remembrance

Ms. Bernice Brice of Kingsport, 90, born September 24, 1930 passed away peacefully in her home on January 4, 2021.

Funeral services will be conducted on Friday, January 8, 2021 at 1 PM at the Shiloh Baptist Church.  The family will receive friends from 12 Noon until the hour of service.  Burial will follow in the Old Kingsport Presbyterian Cemetery.

For your health and safety during the COVID-19 pandemic, all guests must wear a mask and we ask that you please do not attend if you are showing symptoms of illness.  CDC and state of Tennessee regulations will be followed.

The family is being served by the Clark Funeral Home and Cremation Service, Inc.

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Richard Harvey Watterson, Sr. remembrance

Johnson City – Mr. Richard Harvey Watterson, Sr., 94, of Johnson City and Kingsport departed this life on Monday, January 4, 2021. 

Mr. Watterson was born on May 19, 1926 in Hawkins County, the youngest of six siblings, to the late James Wiley Watterson and Margaret “Maggie” Armstrong Watterson.

Richard Watterson showing the Douglass School sports trophies to ABC News Correspondent Will Carr for a national news story on the DB Tribute to the Douglass Tigers Basketball Teams, Feb. 1, 2020.  Richard was what he called "a small forward" on the Tigers basketball teams.

Mr. Watterson was educated in the Kingsport School System, graduating from Douglass High School in 1943 and received his Bachelor’s Degree from Livingston College.  He enlisted in the U.S Navy serving from 1943 to 1950 as a Seaman First Class.

Richard Watterson with Kingsport Chamber of Commerce President Miles Burdine, at the DB Tribute to the Douglass Tigers Basketball Teams, Feb. 1, 2020.

On May 20, 1973, Mr. Watterson was duly and legally elected to the Kingsport Board of Mayor and Aldermen.  He was the first African-American man to serve the city of Kingsport as an Alderman.  He served 24 years on the board, also serving as Vice-Mayor until his retirement in 1997.  He also worked hard with the Kingsport City School Board. 

Not only did Mr. Watterson served as a faithful, loyal and dedicated member and Trustee of the Bethel AME Zion Church. He also served on the boards of the Upper East Tennessee Human Development Agency, the Sequoyah Boy Scouts of America, Habitat for Humanity, Kiwanis Club, Kingsport Elks Club, Kingsport Esquire Club, the Optimist Club and the Boys and Girls Club of Kingsport.  

Richard and Barbara (Miss Bobbie) Watterson at the Great Golden Gathering Reunion Banquet, August 29, 2015

Mr. Watterson was preceded in death by his wife, Barbara Love Watterson; a daughter, Elaine M. Watterson; a son, Ronald W. Watterson; his sisters, Ella Mae Martin, Savannah Harris, Jessie Welch and Ruchael Watterson Charles; his brothers, Walter Watterson and Herman “Buster” Watterson.


Mr. Watterson is survived by his children, Richard Watterson, Jr. (Regina), Gregory Watterson (Thomas), Ricky Watterson and Gail Petterson; step-children, Charles Love, Jr. Lynn Love, Richard Love (Mary), Steven Love, Robert Love (Linda) and Elizabeth Murrey (James); grandchildren, Reggie Petterson, Kandes Tobin (Ron), Princeton Watterson, Kennedy Watterson, Carolyn, Shelly, Ekcia and Brandon; a host of great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren.

Richard Watterson enjoying himself with family at the DB Tribute to the Douglass Tigers Basketball teams, Feb. 1, 2020

A military graveside service will be held at 2 PM on Monday, January 11, 2021 at the Mountain Home National Cemetery in Johnson City.  Pastor Hugh Hale will also officiate. Family and friends will serve as pallbearers.  Those wishing to go in procession to the cemetery are asked to meet at the Dobyns Bennett parking lot no later than 1 PM Monday.


The Carter-Trent Funeral Home in Kingsport is serving the Watterson family.

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Franklin "Frankie" Price announcement


Franklin "Frankie" Price departed this life on Saturday, January 2nd, 2021.

The family is in the process of making arrangements at this time.

Clark Funeral Chapel and Cremation Service in Kingsport is serving the Price family and friends.

Richard Watterson arrangements

Mr. Richard Harvey Watterson, Sr. of Kingsport went to be with the Lord on Monday, January 4, 2021 at the VA Medical Center in Johnson City.

A military graveside service for Mr. Watterson will be held on Monday, January 11, 2021 at the Mountain Home National Cemetery in Johnson City, TN.

The Carter-Trent Funeral Home is serving the Watterson family.

More details to follow.

Sons and Daughters Alumni Meeting canceled

With all the deaths that we have had this week, I am cancelling the meeting for this month (January), and we will meet the second Saturday in February, 2021.  That will be February 13th, 2021.  Please mark your calendars.

Douglas Releford

President, Sons and Daughters of Douglass Alumni

Richard Watterson passes away

Richard Watterson was first elected to the Kingsport Board of Mayor and Aldermen in 1973 – the first African-American to do so. He served until 1997 and during his long tenure on the board, Watterson served as vice-mayor from 1981 to 1995.

Richard Watterson, the first African-American elected to the Kingsport Board of Mayor and Aldermen, passed away on Monday because of COVID-19 complications.  

He was 94 years old.

According to his youngest son Ricky, the elder Watterson passed away at 4:30 AM at the VA Medical Center.  Arrangements will be made through the Carter-Trent Funeral Home.

Ricky Watterson described his father as having true compassion and love for all people., and someone who tried to tell the truth and be honest at all times.

"I think he had true compassion for every citizen as a human being.  (He) didn't see black and white and didn't care about black and white.  He just cared about everybody, it shows and I think the people cared about that," Watterson said.  "He believed in everybody, it didn't matter about ethnicity or anything and when you get past that, you're able to touch people and relate to people."

Watterson was first elected to the Board of Mayor and Aldermen in 1973.  He served until 1997 and during his long tenure on the Board, Watterson served as vice-mayor from 1981 to 1995.  According to city officials, Watterson often garnered the top vote count during many of those city elections when his name was on the ballot.

"I think he lasted 24 years on the BMA by telling the truth, by listening to people and by truly wanting to help people," Watterson said of his father.

During his tenure on the BMA, Ricky Watterson said his father promoted the Sunshine Law, helped pass liquor by the drink, and served on the task force that worked to address issues in the Riverview community.

"The biggest thing is, Dad had a compassion for people, he listened and he took it to heart," Ricky Watterson said.

Watterson graduated from Douglass High School in Kingsport, having played on the basketball team there.  He attended Swift Memorial Junior College in Rogersville and Livingstone College in Salisbury, North Carolina.  He served in the U.S. Navy from 1943 to 1946, with most of his time spent on the U.S.S. Nassau.

At the age of 12, Watterson went to work for Harvey Brooks, a local businessman who built and lived in the Allandale Mansion.

Richard's mother Maggie and his aunt Savannah also worked for the Brooks family.  Richard Watterson ultimately worked for the family for 20 years, working as a chauffeur. butler and caretaker.

Watterson served on a number of state and local boards, including the State Board of Legal Services and the Board of Directors of the Kingsport Boys Club.

He was also the State Commissioner for Human Development, the first chairman of the Riverview Branch Boys Club, the President of the Esquire Club, and a member of the Kiwanis Club and the Optimist Club.

In 2016, the year Watterson turned 90, the BMA proclaimed April 6th as "Richard Watterson Day" in Kingsport.

"Richard was the first African-American elected on a citywide basis after integration, and he was re-elected every term until he decided not to run again.  That speaks volumes of the job he did in consistently representing his constituents," said former city manager Jeff Fleming.  "He was a visionary who had a unique way of convincing ordinary people to do extraordinary things."

Former Kingsport Board of Education Paul Montgomery said Watterson worked hard for all the citizens of Kingsport and especially hard for the school system in its efforts "to make the city schools the best we could have.  He was a friend of education.  He was our go-to person."

"Our community has lost a pioneer in local government," Montgomery said.  He helped mentor me in politics.  He was a good man."