Phagin "Notty" Watson

Born: Fri., Apr. 1, 1932
Died: Sat., Oct. 31, 2020


6:00 PM to 8:00 PM, Mon., Nov. 02, 2020
Location: Durden-Hudson Funeral Directors

Funeral Service

11:00 AM Tue., Nov. 03, 2020

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Durden-Hudson Funeral Directors announces the death of Mr. Phagin “Notty” Watson, age 88, of Twin City on Saturday October 31, 2020 at Emanuel Medical Center in Swainsboro, GA.

Funeral services will be conducted Tuesday, November 3, 2020 at 11:00 AM at The Peebles-Curry Memorial Chapel with Mr. Ricky Stevens and Elder Tommy Rountree officiating. 

Interment will be in the Antioch Primitive Baptist Church Cemetery of Emanuel County.

The family will receive friends Monday, November 2, 2020 from 6-8:00 PM at Durden-Hudson Funeral Directors.

CDC social distancing guidelines will be observed and masks are encouraged for your safety and the well being of others.

Pallbearers are Benji Williams, Paul Williams, Gary Bowers, Joey Collins, Ray Collins and Ricky Collins.

Honorary Pallbearers will be the Staff and Friends of The Retirement Inn of Swainsboro.

A native of Twin City, GA; he was the son of Butler B. and Daisy Johnson Watson and was of the Methodist faith.  Notty was a graduate of Emanuel County Institute. He owned and operated a dry cleaning business prior to 1974 when he became the superintendant of George L. Smith State Park. He retired from the park in 1998 after 25 years of service. He was the recipient of many awards, including, Park Employee of The Year by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources in 1992. Notty was once quoted as saying, “Never had any cause to be anywhere else, this is the nicest place you would ever want to be. I’ve spent my whole life here and I don’t intend to move. This park is my life.” He was one of the founding fathers of David Emanuel Academy and a member of the Board of Trustees, where all three of his sons attended school. Notty took much pride in the fact that all three of the sons held perfect attendance for all 12 years of school. When not at the park, Notty enjoyed woodworking and the making and refinishing of furniture. Many of the pieces he worked on you can find in his home. He is preceded in death by his parents, an infant son, Dan B. Watson; a brother, B. Watson, a sister, Lillian Watson Schwalls, a daughter-in-law, Teresa McMurry Watson, a brother-in-law, Bobby Ray Collins and sister-in-law, Joan Leggett.

Survivors include:

His Wife of 63 years: Joyce Collins Watson of Twin City, GA.

Three Sons: Bob Watson of Twin City, Don (Nancy) Watson of Statesboro, GA, and Dave Watson of Twin City.

Grandchildren: Christy Neesmith of Hazelhurst, GA, Collin Watson of Metter, GA and Kirby Watson of Swainsboro, GA.

Great-Grandchild: Harley Neesmith of Hazelhurst, GA, and a future Great-Grandchild: Ivy Laine Pritchard.

Sisters and Brother-In-Laws: Jan and Gary Bowers of Metter, GA, Jackie Collins of Twin City, GA, June Jarriell of Centerville, GA, Joey and Cindy Collins of Metter, GA and Betty Watson of Dothan, AL.

Family gives a special thanks to Dr. Rani Reddy, his physician, and the caring staff of The Retirement Inn, Swainsboro GA and Pruitt Health of Swainsboro, GA.

Memorial Contributions can be made to George L. Smith State Park, 371 George L. Smith Park Road, Twin City, GA 30471 Or the Alzheimer’s Association, 3120 Raymond Drive, Atlanta, GA 30340.

Condolences may be submitted on-line at

Durden-Hudson Funeral Directors is in charge of arrangements for the funeral of Mr. Phagin “Notty” Watson of Twin City.

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Condolence Booklet

Barbara Ann Sawyer
   Posted Sun November 01, 2020
Joyce, our love and condolences to you for the very sad loss of Notty. He was one of our favorite memories from our parks. You and Notty always made us feel loved and welcomed to George L
Smith State Park. Love from Barbara Sawyer, Tracy, Kim, Valarie and Gloria, the region 2 office girls. You always fed us well!! Thank you for being the Best Couple!!!!!
Bill Fanning sends his love to you as well

Ed Reed
   Posted Mon November 02, 2020
Joyce and Family, I worked with Notty for many years. He retired just before I became region manager, and I always regretted that. He was a very respected member of the Parks and Historic Sites family, and he always had a smile and a good word for everyone. I cherish a picture that I have, presenting him with an award at our annual conference on St Simons many years ago. My best to you and your family.

Steve and Wanda Currin
   Posted Mon November 02, 2020
Dear Don and Nancy, Steve and I are so very sorry to hear of the passing of Mr.Notty ! He was such a kind man and we enjoyed the times we visited with he and your Mom in your home over the years ! We pray for healing and blessings of fond memories for you and your Mom and siblings and other family members during this time . Love Steve and Wanda

Denise Flanders
   Posted Mon November 02, 2020
Ms. Joyce, Bob and the entire Watson family, I am so sorry to hear of the passing of Mr. Notty. He was such a joy to be around and he will surely be missed. My prayers go out to you all. Love, Denise Flanders

E.T. Willis
   Posted Tue November 03, 2020
im sure sorryto hear about about mr WATSON MY CONDOLENCE TO THE FAMILY SONNY WILLIS.

Deborah Sammons
   Posted Tue November 03, 2020
Got the sad news yesterday about my first Park manager Phagin aka Notty Watson passing away . Notty was short in statue but made a big presence when he walked up on that porch every morning and reported to work . Until the recent remodel at George l Smith state park there was a little porch and a porch swing at the office . Every morning we gathered around hot or cold weather and swapped stories of local happenings and Notty always had a update of how the evening went on his 10:00 late night rounds there in the park . Y'all I can't repeat many of those stories 😂 but I will tell you . So many times we all started out our work days with a belly laugh . I was the first female to be employed at GLS full-time. I had much clearing of certain calendars , draws full of good boys jokes to purge from that back office. I have 5 brothers and have always understood Southern men folks . Notty was a work horse and won many cleanliness awards within the park system on the standard that he sat for up keeping of GLS park . He expected much from his staff....but wasn't afraid to work too . Not many park managers do the manual stuff anymore . He was made from a different cloth ....the stiff rugged kind . Being personable with that southern hospitality and Grin made him a favorite to the campers . After notty's retirement several of the old time campers really missed him and was very disappointed when he was no longer there . Notty couldn't handle the new computer system . He had to retire because he was required to comply . He was forever protected from this new age thing . Notty seem to be happy in his retirement situation . Every dog has his day... I've been told all my life . Notty Watson had his at George I Smith state park . I know I witnessed it . He wasn't perfect but the park life suited him perfect . Love And miss Notty Deborah Brogdon Sammons