In Memory of



Obituary for Orvetta WATTS

Orvetta Watts of Dayton, Ohio was born February 13, 1926, in Birmingham, Alabama to the late Reverend James W. and Anna Celesta Dallas. As a child the family relocated to Saginaw, Michigan. Growing up in Saginaw Michigan, she was surrounded by her five brothers and five sisters. The love of family was ever present and of utmost importance to her. Early in her life, she developed a love of sewing, quilting, and cooking that carried her throughout her life. In addition to those skills, she played the piano, organ, and served as a choir director at Bethel A.M.E. in Saginaw, Michigan.

In 1945, she graduated from Saginaw High School in Saginaw, Michigan. After graduation she met and married Wilbur L. Watts and the couple moved to Dayton, Ohio. From this union, two beautiful daughters, Yvonne Marie and Gloria Jean were born and became the light of her life. Never one to settle for just being a wife and mother, she began a career with McCall’s Printing from which she retired and subsequently concluded her professional career with Metropolitan Life Insurance.

As a woman of faith, she was a committed member of Phillips Temple C.M.E. for over 60 years. A dedicated servant of God, she enjoyed and participated in the Marshall Gilmore Club, Usher Board, and other church auxiliary organizations. In her retirement she never slowed down, whether it was traveling (domestic or international) to visit family and friends, taking care of her grandchildren, teaching sewing classes, making hats, scarves, blankets, monogramming shirts, to cooking lessons in her kitchen. She always had plenty to do. She was the life of the party and always the center of attention with a smile on her face and a quick sense of humor. Family and friends knew not to call her on Thursday night during The First 48 and other crime shows! She never met a stranger, and those she invited into her home, whether it was the first time or for a regular visit, were welcomed with open arms and oftentimes left with a full stomach. She was an outstanding cook; her fried chicken, ham (with pineapple and maraschino cherries), macaroni and cheese, turnip greens, barbecue ribs, carrots, corn muffins, green apple salad, and pound cake were known throughout the community and were always requested by friends and family. Maya Angelou reminds us, “When you give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed.”

Loved ones that preceded her in death were devoted daughter, Yvonne Marie Conner; brothers, Alfred, Loreanzo James, William H., Richard Allen and Theopolis Dallas along with sisters, Laura Mae Dallas, Mattie Lee Dallas, Mary Evelyn Suber and Anna Robena Pettiford.

Orvetta finished her earthly course and took her rest on the morning of October 15, 2022. To mourn her passing and cherish her memory; she leaves her husband of 77 years, Wilbur L. Watts, loving and compassionate daughter, Gloria J. Rambo, and devoted sister Mildred Burton of Saginaw MI. To carry on her legacy; she leaves grandson, Van Rountree, Jr. of Houston TX, granddaughters Tracy (BenaYHWH) Yisrael of New Orleans, LA, Ebony (Matthew) Hogan of Merrimack, New Hampshire; great grandchildren, Reginald Smith, Jr., Ryene Smith, Madison Hogan and MacKenzie Hogan; special sons, Clinton J. Brown, Stafford (Connie) Wicker, Steve (Donna) Pettiford, Reginald (Donna) Smith Sr.; special nephew Alfred (Beverly) Kelly, along with a host of nephews, nieces, other family, and friends.

The beauty of a life well lived speaks to those who are fortunate to be touched by it. We have a limited time to share memories, but a lifetime to remember and celebrate them. To my Wife Vet, my Mother, our Grandmother, our Great-Grandmother, Aunt Orvetta, and Mrs. Watts, we would say, “See you later alligator” and her response would be “After while crocodile!” We look forward to the day when we can see her again.

Virtual memorial service will be held Monday, November 14, 2022 at 11:00 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada).
Meeting ID: 876 0737 3103
Passcode: 2131926

Arrangements entrusted to THOMAS FUNERAL HOME & CREMATORY, 4520 Salem Ave. Online condolences may be sent to the family at