John Edwards “Coach” Watts died unexpectedly on Tuesday, June 9, 2020 at Forsyth Memorial Hospital, Winston Salem, N.C.
John was born on March 23, 1942 in Baldwin, N.C., to John and Billie Edwards Watts. He was a veteran of the United States Marine Corps; serving in the Philippines and in South Vietnam. He received his Bachelor of Science from Mars Hill University and his Master of Science from Radford University. He taught Biology and Earth Sciences at high schools in Virginia, North Carolina, and London, UK. John enjoyed teaching, but he was passionate about coaching football. He led many a team to winning seasons and tournament championships. John ended his teaching and coaching career at Ashe Central High School, retiring in 1999.
Growing up in Baldwin, John was an avid hunter from an early age, bringing squirrels home for his Granny to cook, and mink, beaver and groundhogs for his Granddad to skin. He continued to hunt as long as he was able, over the years successfully bagging deer, bear, antelope and wild hogs. He also enjoyed live theatre, reading, poetry, classic Western movies, and listening to all kinds of music.
John loved traveling above all else. He spent his summers roaming the world, often accompanied by his late uncle Jackie Blackburn. John made special efforts to see as much of the United States as he could, towing his RV from Alaska to Florida, from Maine to California, and all points in between. The great National Parks of the American West were particular favorites. His journeys abroad would eventually take him to six of the seven continents.
John is survived by his mother, Billie Baldwin; his sister, Jan Turner (Paul); his daughter, Tamala Bahorich (Brian); his Auntie Gail Blackburn; grandsons, Taylor and Jarrod; great-grandson, Quentin; nephew Shane (Lisa) and great-nephews Turner and Evan. He also leaves behind a very special family of friends including Ed Conyers, Tommy Conyers, Eddie and Jean Adkins, and their families. Many cousins, neighbors, local friends and fellow coaches also survive.
With respect to the current COVID-19 pandemic, and his family’s wishes, services for John will be private. His family respectfully request no flowers. Those wishing to honor Johns memory are encouraged to make donations to the Ashe County High School Football program c/o Ashe County High School, PO Box 450, West Jefferson, NC 28694, ATTN: FOOTBALL.
You may give the family your condolences at our website www.boonefuneralhome.com
Boone Family Funeral Home of West Jefferson is in charge of these arrangements.