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Clyde Purcell Watts

July 26, 1926 ~ August 31, 2021 (age 95)

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Clyde Purcell Watts, 95, joined his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ and his beloved wife, Eula Joe Hughes Watts on August 31, 2021.  Clyde was the 26th grandchild born to his parents, Clyde and Laverne Purcell Watts on July 26, 1926 in Louisville, KY.  Clyde was predeceased by his wife and son, Brent Edison Watts.


Clyde spent his childhood in Carrollton, KY. The seeds of his spirit of determination and commitment to hard work were sown at an early age when as a seven-year-old he had to learn to walk again after being bedridden for 18 months with rheumatic fever.   On a bet, when he was in high school, he raised 3,000 chickens from eggs to market.  He earned the nickname “Chick” from many for this unlikely accomplishment. Emblematic of his tenacity and grit, Clyde was the starting center for the Carroll County High School football team, never missing a game for four years.  Clyde spent his summers with his maternal grandparents, Dr. Clyde and Martha G. Purcell in Paducah, KY where “Doc” taught him to hunt and fish.  Fishing became Clyde’s lifelong passion.


Clyde joined the United States Navy as a radio communications specialist on an LST in the Pacific theater at age 17 to serve our country in World War II.  At the end of his duty, Clyde attended the University of Kentucky attaining a degree in Business.  At the University of Kentucky, Clyde courted a petite blonde, Eula Joe Hughes from Maysville, KY.  Upon graduation in 1950, Clyde married his lifelong love “ JoJo”.


Clyde, Jo and their two boys frequently moved around KY as Clyde climbed the corporate ladder of what is now AT&T.  As a rabid University of Kentucky Wildcat fan, Clyde became known to his neighbors for sitting in his car listening to Cawood Ledford announce UK basketball games and screaming words of encouragement to the Cats. In Paducah, KY Clyde spent his lunch hour swimming laps at the Broadway United Methodist Church Pool and playing “pick up” basketball with men 20-30 years his junior. He was known as “Clyde the Glide” on the court, but even more for his competitive spirit and tenacious style of play.


Clyde and Jo raised their boys, Craig and Brent in Paducah. Clyde served First Christian Church as an elder.  Clyde was also active in the Rotary Club and the Artist Guild.  Clyde, a gifted sculptor, was featured in several galleries and many have benefited from his benevolent gifts of sculpture.


Clyde often said he was born with a love of nature.  He especially appreciated God’s gifts of sunrises and sunsets when he was out on the water fishing.  Clyde transitioned from bass fishing on Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley to redfish and snook fishing in the coastal estuaries of Florida after he and Jo retired to  Deland, Florida in 1986.


Clyde and Jo were extremely generous, often sharing of their time and treasures.  Throughout his life, Clyde invested in other people’s lives. He was a mentor to many young men, several who consider him as their second father.


In Deland, Clyde and Jo were active members of First Presbyterian Church and Hospice volunteers for over 15 years.  In 2016, they relocated to Boca Raton St. Andrews Estates to live near their son, Craig and his family.  Clyde and Jo joined Grace Community Church of Boca Raton.


In addition to his artistry and fishing, Clyde was a great story teller, devout Christian and loving father, grandfather and great-grandfather. Even when Alzheimer’s diminished his short-term memory, Clyde never forgot even the slightest details about family, close friends and his Kentucky Wildcat basketball and football teams.  Clyde is survived by his son Craig (Jenny) Watts and his daughter in law, Felicia Watts; Four grandchildren, Dr. Ashley Watts, Allyson (Casey) Smith, Kyle (Dr. Adreanna) Watts and Lauren (Brian) Drukenbrod; Two great grandchildren, Ford and Palmer Smith and two more great grandbabies due to arrive in Sept.  (Adreanna and Kyle) and Dec. 2021 (Lauren and Brian).  Also, three men who were like sons to Clyde, Dr. Mark Pritchett, Larry Lucas and Mark Menendez. 


Clyde’s family would like to thank Sheryl Strowbridge, Sylvia Carty, Monica Tardonia , Roslyn Wong and Janice Simpson and the staff at St. Andrews South for their kindness and devotion.


Due to COVID, the family will celebrate Clyde’s life in Kiawah Island, SC next year.


The family request no flowers and that expressions of sympathy be sent to the Grace Community Church, Missions Committee, 600 W. Camino Real, Boca Raton, FL 33486

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