ShareThis Page
Obituary Stories

Strong work ethic, music drove centenarian

| Thursday, April 16, 2015, 10:48 p.m.
Eliza Helen Werchowski Watts, formerly of Trafford, passed away of natural causes Saturday, April 11, 2015, in Valparaiso, Ind. at Golden LivingCenters. She was 102.
Eliza Helen Werchowski Watts, formerly of Trafford, passed away of natural causes Saturday, April 11, 2015, in Valparaiso, Ind. at Golden LivingCenters. She was 102.

Eliza Watts was a woman of many talents, and she put those talents to work in many roles throughout the eastern suburbs.

She made candy at Sherm Edwards Candy Store in Trafford, handled the bookkeeping for Kubric's Farm Market in Monroeville and assisted the nuns at St. Regis Church in Trafford, said her son Thomas Watts, 67, of Farmington.

“She had to do the job to her best ability possible,” he said. “She took pride in everything that she did — her appearance, her house, how she carried herself and how she talked.”

Eliza Helen Werchowski Watts, formerly of Trafford, passed away of natural causes on Saturday, April 11, 2015, in Valparaiso, Ind. She was 102.

Mrs. Watts grew up in Pittsburgh's North Side and, after graduating from high school, worked in the office at Reymer Brothers Candy Factory, which made “Lemon Blennd,” her son said.

She then held jobs at the Joseph Horne Co., the Trafford Public Library and LaBarbe's Restaurant in Monroeville.

Having food on the table for her family was important to Mrs. Watts, who cooked only homemade meals.

“We never knew what a TV dinner was,” Thomas Watts said.

When the family gathered, Mrs. Watts and her husband spent the day cooking steak and spaghetti.

“Everybody ate until they couldn't stand it anymore,” her son said.

“She was famous for making her nut rolls,” said her daughter-in-law, Michele Watts, who is married to William R. Watts.

Mrs. Watts loved movies and musicals, and she was known for playing the piano and organ and singing.

At Christmas, Mrs. Watts would wait by the door for her family to arrive and greet them with a holiday tune, Michele Watts recalled.

William R. Watts, 65, of the state of Indiana, said his mother had a “gentle, warm spirit.” Though she liked to work, he said she “loved to be on the beach with her sons” in Wildwood, N.J., even when it was cold.

“We'd be out there turning blue, and she'd be out there with us,” he said.

Mrs. Watts is preceded in death by her first husband, Francis J. Gill, who died in 1944. She is also preceded in death by her second husband, Clement P. Watts; her parents and seven siblings. In addition to her sons and daughter-in-law, she is survived by several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Visitors will be received from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday in the John M. Dobrinick Funeral Home Inc., 702 Seventh St., Trafford. Prayers will be at 9 a.m. Saturday in the funeral home, followed by a funeral Mass at 9:30 a.m. in St. Regis Church with the Rev. David Nazimek as celebrant. Interment will be private in St. Patrick's Cemetery, Gallitzin.

Nicole Chynoweth is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-850-2862 or nchynoweth@tribweb.com.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me