BARBARA "BARB" ANNE WATSON
July 27, 2023
Barbara "Barb" Anne Watson (Walker), 67, of Hayesville, North Carolina, passed away peacefully at home with family due to natural causes on Thursday, July 13, 2023. Barb was born in Sidney, Nebraska, on August 15, 1955, to Raymond and Geraldine (Brundige) Walker. She grew up working on the family's Walkerland farm and always remained a farm girl at heart. She
attended grade school in Lorenzo, Nebraska, and high school in Sidney, Nebraska. Barb went on
to graduate from The National College of Business with degrees in both Accounting and
Business Administration in Rapid City, South Dakota.
She met the love of her life, Jim, in New Castle, Wyoming, in late 1977. They were married on
December 16, 1978, and happily settled as newlyweds in Evanston, Wyoming. They would
continue to travel across the US managing industrial construction projects as their family grew,
living in 10+ states over their first 15 years of marriage. The underlying lesson that she instilled
in all of us was that family is the most important thing in life and that together we could get
In 1991, she settled in Roswell, Georgia, with her young family while working at Spartan
Construction as a Project Manager. She then co-founded Teton Industrial Group with her
husband, Jim, and two other partners in 1996. Jim led the company and was the dealmaker but
the reality is that Barb was the brains behind the entire multinational corporation. She worked
as the CFO before retiring in her late 40s, when the firm was acquired by PCL Construction in
2003. Her dream was to retire early and after over 30 years of dedicated work, she reached
that goal. Though retired from the corporate world, she did not slow down in the least.
Early retirement allowed Barb to pursue her true passion for non-profit and church-based work,
helping to bring a better quality of life to those in need. Over her 20 years in the non-profit
community, she namelessly impacted thousands upon thousands of lives, many of whom were
total strangers. If there was a way for her to help, she would graciously jump in, no matter how
full her plate was. Highlights of such work include her hands-on and Board-level work at the
Council of Ministries at Bethel United Methodist, Good Shepherd Clinic of Dawsonville, The
United Way of Dawson County, Samaritans Purse – Operation Christmas Child, St. Jude
Children's Hospital, and Hearts in Ministry (HIM) – Hayesville United Methodist Church.
Barb was the glue that kept her family united and humble; she had a very special relationship
with so many people, both inside and outside the family. She was genuine, heartfelt, and
generous to a fault. Barb was also very involved in Dawsonville's Bethel United Methodist
Church and later at Hayesville's First United Methodist Church, active in the choirs and bells of
In 2014, Barb and Jim purchased their first Newmar Motor Home. Barb loved the RV lifestyle
and cherished her many friendships in the Newmar Kountry Klub. She was very active in the
Klub and volunteered alongside Jim as the Tri-State Directors for Georgia, Alabama, and
She loved her children, but she really loved her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. The
sight of just a picture of one of them would always bring a huge smile to her face. She also
loved the outdoors, frequently visiting state and national parks across the country. Her crafting
kept her quite busy when she was not volunteering. She was famous for her woodworking skills
and made hundreds of custom pieces for people simply for the joy of doing it. In January 2021,
Barb and Jim fell in love with a home in the picturesque mountains of Hayesville, North
Carolina, which was adorned with a vast array of custom woodwork and equipped with a robust
woodworking shop. For holidays and birthday gifts, she asked for raw wood so that she
could craft gifts for others. That was her nature. She was always finding a way to give back and
make the world just a little bit better.
Barb will be dearly missed by her surviving husband of nearly 45 years, James T. Watson; son
Benjamin Scott (Katy) Watson of Atlanta, Georgia; son Lucas James (Gabriel) Watson of Palm
Springs, California; stepchildren Brian Christopher Watson and Sarah Elizabeth Watson;
brothers Rick (Rhonda) Walker and Bryan (Julie) Walker; seven grandchildren and three great-
grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews whom she adored.
She was preceded in death by her beloved parents Raymond and Geraldine Walker, brother
Gerald Walker, and sister Marni Anders.
The Celebration of Life will be held at Hayesville First United Methodist Church, 989 US-64
Business, Hayesville, North Carolina, 28904, on Friday, August 4, 2023, led by Pastor Kirk
Hatherly. An informal meet and greet will begin at noon, followed by the service at 1:00pm,
and an onsite reception to follow. There will be an interment service in Sidney, Nebraska, at a
In lieu of flowers, the family respectfully requests donations be made to her church "HFUMC"
and designated in the memo to "Barb Watson Memorial", the mailing address is PO Box 85,
Hayesville, North Carolina, 28904. Funds will be used to support programs for children in the
Ivie Funeral Home, Hayesville in charge of all arrangements.
An online guest register is available at http://www.iviefuneralhome.com.