Picayune Item super senior

Published 12:22 am Sunday, May 15, 2011

Ninety years young, Stanley Watson exemplifies his personal philosophy which is, “We don’t have a right to stop functioning and rest on our laurels. I guess that I’m saying, just because I am 90, I don’t have an excuse to just sit here and do nothing  that will contribute to society in some way.”

Watson, a Sunday columnist for the Picayune Item for almost a decade, says,  “if you live to be 90, you have done a lot of things.”

This is certainly true for him. Writing is his fourth career. He was an Army Chaplain during World War II and Professor of Psychology and Counseling at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary for 34 years. He continued his practice at his farm in Picayune for many years after that.

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Watson has four children, six grandchildren, and ten great- grandchildren. He recently experienced the loss Johnie, his wife of 68 years.

Today, he is as outgoing as ever, recently going on a motorcycle trip with his two sons and saying the blessing at the Pearl River County Partners in Leadership.

He says, “Well, my two major projects besides the weekly column are l. a family reunion and 2. The chaplain program in the new hospital. I’m writing two or three columns about the chaplain project in the near future.

He continues, “I write columns; I watch favorite television shows— especially news; I keep organizing and arranging and discarding the many file folders of documents from decades of collecting; I enjoy being with Mark and Cheryl;  I work with community organizations and I go to church.

“As for nights, you might be aware of the fact that older folks seems to need fewer hours of sleep— we make up for it with nodding off during the daytime. I go to bed around eleven and get up around six thirty. If I am slow getting to sleep, instead of counting sheep, I count great grandchildren by naming each one and praying he or she will grow up good and have a wonderful life.”

The Watson family plans to gather in Gatlinburg, Tenn. during the last week in June. They will come from New York, Ann Arbor, Daytona Beach and, of course, Picayune. The four generations will go from great-granddad to the ten great-grandchildren, eight girls and two boys. Family members, especially the children entertain with songs, dances, and Karaoke presentations.

Watson says, “I plan to sing ‘A Song About my Great Grandad.’ It is a folk song with the composer unknown, so I revised it a bit to describe our family.”

To other seniors, Watson  says, “Don’t pigeon hole yourself. I was a preacher, a teacher, and now struggle to be a writer. Always be open to opportunities to give back. And remember, all things work together for good for them that love the Lord.”