Cover photo for Jennie Juanita Watts's Obituary
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1929 Jennie 2023

Jennie Juanita Watts

November 3, 1929 — August 25, 2023

Jennie Juanita Watts, 93, passed away while surrounded by love on August 25, 2023, in Twin Falls, ID. Juanita was born on November 3, 1929, in Sharon, PA, to David and Elsie Larimer. She was the only daughter and loved dearly by her brothers David, Edward, William, Charles, John, and George. Despite the romantic interests of local gentlemen, she affectionately referred to as Mole, Finn Fennel, and Punkinhead, Juanita’s heart was won by Ernest Ray Watts. They married and began their lifelong journey on October 17, 1947. Juanita and Ernie ultimately welcomed 6 children of their own – Tom, Joe, Betty, Pam, Kathy, and Ernie JR – and in 1972 headed west to settle in Idaho. At the end of her days, Juanita was the matriarch of 10 grandchildren, 26 great-grandchildren, and 3 great-great-grandchildren. Her mind was kept sharp by listing nearly all their names before settling on the correct one being referred to. Juanita experienced joy and shared it with others in many ways throughout her life. She loved to bake and spoiled us all with the best bread that ever was made. Many grandchildren took turns sitting on the countertop next to the wheat grinder, entire bodies jiggling from the vibrations, as she poured in the wheat berries. Scones for dinner were a popular favorite. She also loved to cook, utilizing all the leftovers. It was always an adventure to see what this week’s “John Mezzetti” dish included. Gardening and traveling also brought Juanita great happiness, with trips to Hawaii, Australia, and the New England states among her favorite memories. But joy was most prevalent in moments when she was surrounded by her family, with food and laughter in abundance. Or perhaps sitting in her rocking chair with a newborn baby resting on her bosom, lulled to sleep by her gentle pats on the bottom. Juanita was a caretaker, in so many ways. Throughout her life she took jobs helping others: cleaning homes and providing care for several elderly people. She enjoyed helping out at her daughter Betty’s Bed and Breakfast in Rapid City, SD and her daughter Pam’s assisted living facility in Filer, ID. No one could go hungry in Juanita’s presence. “Didya eat? Are ya hungry? I’ll fix ya something.” Family, friends, mail deliverers – everyone needed comfort food. Her grandbabies – small or grown – know that she gave the best back tickles and hair brushings. Her soft lap was a comforting place to rest from infancy until there was no longer any possible way to fit. She took care of people through comedic relief, as well. Whether removing her false teeth for a joke, participating in holiday skits, forgoing social filters while talking, or joining the kids on the trampoline, she was often the source of side-splitting laughter. She was the master of the famous “Watts Cackle,” inherited by all three of her daughters. You’d best be prepared if they were all in the same room and getting giggly. Juanita blessed her family and friends with priceless memories throughout her 93 years. Countless words and phrases will forever bring a smile to those who loved her: gutchies, broda, Cesar, hard tack, warsher, Bread Wagon, hammock, parsley, pies,“feesh,” “put some tea tree oil on it”, “just wait till your dad comes home!”, and “just sittin’ here mildewing.” Juanita was preceded in death by her parents, David and Elsie Larimer; brothers David, Edward, William, Charles, John and George; son Thomas R. Watts (WY); great-granddaughter Abigail Eldredge (ID); son-inlaw Joel King (VA). Juanita is survived by her husband Ernest Watts Sr (Twin Falls, ID), son Joseph Watts (Dixie) of Jerome ID, daughter Betty King (Allen Chapman) of Mesquite NV, daughter Pamela Brown (Steve) of Filer ID, daughter Kathy Gibson (Bill) of Australia, son Ernest Watts JR of WY, many beloved nieces and nephews, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren. She will be deeply missed, and her legacy long-lived. Many thanks to the nursing staff at St. Luke’s in Twin Falls for their care and compassion in Juanita’s final days. To leave condolences or memories for the family please click on the sign guestbook section above.
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