A Private Memorial Service will be held Saturday, September 26, 2020, at 4:30 P.M. at Aikens Funeral Home, 2708 E. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd., in Tampa, Florida.
Eddie Watts Jr. was born December 4, 1947, in Fort Knox, Kentucky to Eddie Watts Sr. and Annie Mae Merricks Watts. He was the oldest of seven children. Eddie Watts Sr. served in the United States Army and moved the family around the world during his tour of active duty. Eddie Watts Sr. retired from the Army in 1962 at Ft. Eustis in Newport News, VA. A year later he moved the family and settled in Orlando, Florida.
Eddie Watts Jr., also known as Sonny to family and friends, attended Jones High School in Orlando where he was an accomplished student and athlete. He was President of the Student Council and played both football and baseball at Jones High School. It was at Jones High School that he met his future wife, Bessie Mae Peterson. After graduating in 1967, the two were married on July 1, 1968 in Orlando, Florida.
After graduating from high school, Eddie moved to Hampton, Virginia where he attended Hampton Institute (now Hampton University). Shortly afterwards he was hired on December 30, 1969 by the Hampton Police Department. Eddie graduated from the Tidewater Police Academy on January 5, 1970. He was later promoted to Desk Sergeant Specialist in 1971 and to Sergeant on May 1, 1972. Eddie attended Thomas Nelson Community College and graduated in 1983 Summa Cum Laude with an Associates Degree in Police Science. After obtaining his degree, he was promoted to Lieutenant on September 19, 1984. As Lieutenant, Eddie served with distinction in virtually every area of the Police Division, including Uniform Services, Unit Commander of Crimes Against Persons and Crimes Against Property, Unit Commander of SIU, and Unit Commander of the Communications and Records Section. He received numerous awards of recognition throughout his career for his dedication, professionalism, and distinguished service to the police department and the community.
Eddie retired from the police department on January 1, 1998. He and Bessie relocated to Tampa, Florida. After retirement, Eddie worked as a Court Security Officer (C.S.O.) at the Federal Courthouse under a United States Marshals contract. He worked as a C.S.O. until he was diagnosed with Cancer in April of 2019.
Eddie was a family man, avid golfer, barbeque king, and an expert in the fine art of taste testing of the best bargain Scotch a man could find. He and Bessie have one child, Carl, who mirrored his career as a student, athlete, police lieutenant, and family man. Eddie has four grandchildren, who like their father, are all fine students, athletes, and productive citizens. Eddie lost his battle to Cancer on September 19, 2020. He was a fighter until the end and always displayed a positive outlook, jovial personality, and love for his family no matter the obstacles he faced. He can now Rest In Power as he is in the hands of God.
Mr. Watts is survived by his wife, Bessie Watts; son, Carl Watts; grandchildren, Mariah Watts, Cole Watts, Cyle Watts, and Jadyn Watts; sisters, Frances Wilkins (James), Clara Cofer and Pamela Watts Jones; his brothers, Joseph Watts, Ralph Watts and Carl Watts (Renee); and a host of nieces and nephews.
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