When the Rev. Pat Jobe thinks of the late Anna Elizabeth Watson, he thinks of a woman who was at once inspiring and outrageous. Jobe, a family friend, was to lead her memorial service Saturday at Unity Church of Charleston.
"We need to be servants and to be compassionate and we need to do it with joy, fun and mischief," says Jobe, minister of Greenville Unitarian Universal Fellowship, a different denomination.
"I have attended a lot of their (Unity Church of Charleston's) worship services," Jobe says. "She would often attend service in her bare feet and run around the church inspiring mischief and joy. They are going to miss her joy, her humor and her beauty."
Watson, known to most as Elizabeth, was born 31 years ago to Roderick McIver Watson and Harriet Gardner Watson. She died more than a week ago.
"She was a very beautiful young woman, with long flowing red hair, fire in her eyes and a gorgeous grin. She could make you feel you were the most important person in the world, and the next person she dealt with felt the same way, says Jobe.
"Her ministry needs to go on," says Jobe, noting Watson had hoped to become a minister. "It was one that called her out of the ordinariness of our lives."
Torreah "Cookie" Washington describes Watson as someone who ministered to everyone she encountered. The two, says Washington, were very close friends who referred to each other as "goddaughter" and "godmommy."
"She was a great listener and she could assess a situation and determine what your needs were immediately," says Washington. That made her particularly well-suited to be a Youth of Unity sponsor.
She always had time for the frequent phone calls from teens in the Y.O.U., a church organization, and accompanied them on several out-of-state trips.
Watson also was a talented painter, writer and dancer who loved animals, Washington says. Still, one of the most remarkable things about her was how nonjudgmental she was. Watson believed that every person was on a learning curve, and she would never think of someone as losing their soul because of human frailties, says Washington.
Those who worked with Watson at Trident Technical College, where she was an orientation coordinator for two years, were changed by her, says Tommie Burwell, orientation leader coordinator.
"Elizabeth changed this office by making us all better friends," Burwell says. "She just loved us all to pieces. She loved us all into loving each other. She was a bright, shining star, a dear friend."
She found such joy in life in everything that she did. She took pleasure in all of it. We are going to miss her terribly, we are all just devastated. I can't stand it that she has died. It's terrible, says Burwell.
Reach Wevonneda Minis at 937-5705. Lowcountry Roots tells the stories of Lowcountry residents who have recently passed away.