Bernice C. Watson, 84, city educator, seamstress

April 20, 2006

Bernice C. Watson, a retired Baltimore City educator and accomplished seamstress, died of lung cancer April 12 at Sinai Hospital. The Catonsville resident was 84.

She was born Bernice Calverta Francis in Philadelphia and spent her early years in East Orange, N.J., until moving with her family to Bolton Hill in 1932.

She was a 1940 graduate of Douglass High School and earned a bachelor's degree from Coppin Teachers College in 1944.

Mrs. Watson taught elementary pupils until 1958 at School 58 and later the old Beale Elliott Elementary School.

She became a homemaker, clothes designer and seamstress.

"She made all kinds of clothes, including wedding gowns," said a daughter, Adrienne Kathryn Watson of Baltimore. "I used to tell her that the work looked so tedious, and she'd say, `No, it's very relaxing.'

"She was known for her savvy way of dressing and her ability to design great runway fashions for herself and others. She had to stop in recent years because she had lost the dexterity in her hands."

Mrs. Watson was a member of Kappa Silhouettes, Big Sisters Club of Baltimore and the Continentals. She was an avid reader and traveler.

Mrs. Watson was an active member of Sharp Street Memorial United Methodist Church, where she was a Communion steward and member of the Naylor-Hughes Circle.

Services will be held at 10:30 a.m. tomorrow at the church, Dolphin and Etting streets.

Also surviving are two sons, Edward Zarius Watson III of Baltimore and Anthony Francis Watson of Reisterstown; another daughter, Jeanette E. Aska of Owings Mills; a brother, Louis N. Francis of Baltimore; a sister, Vivian Francis Burnette of Baltimore; and three grandchildren. Her marriage to Edward Z. Watson Jr. ended in divorce.

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