Crash victim was 'wonderful mother,' friend

February 22, 2002

Crash victim was 'wonderful mother,' friend


A woman whose family and pets were the light of her life was found dead near her East Burke Street home by a Martinsburg postal carrier Wednesday morning, the victim of an accident involving her own car.

Mail carrier Ron Nagley found the body of Kathleen Watson, 77, at 10 a.m. Nagley said she was dead when he found her in a vacant lot across from her home. Her car, which Martinsburg City Police said was still running, was between two buildings nearby, he said.

Nagley said he walked across the street to her house at 301 E. Burke St. and called the police.

Police said it appeared Watson tried to get into the car as it rolled out of her driveway. The car was believed to have been left in reverse. She was found partially ejected from her car, police said.


Postmaster Tom Barbery said that last year a postal carrier saved a woman who was stuck between her toilet and bathtub, although the woman died the next day. Also last year, another postal carrier helped a blind couple out of a burning building, he said.

He said part of a postal carrier's job is to keep an eye on the community.

Nagley's route is on Burke, High, Center, and Liberty streets in Martinsburg. In his 31/2 years on the route, he saw Watson regularly.

"She was a nice lady," he said.

Kathleen Watson loved Christmas, yard sales and making crafts, daughter-in-law Pam Watson said Thursday.

"She was the type of woman that if you didn't catch her before 7 a.m. you wouldn't get a hold of her until 3 p.m.," she said. "She was a wonderful person."

Kathleen Watson had lived in her home on Burke Street for 50 years. She moved there on her oldest son's seventh birthday, Pam Watson said.

Kathleen Watson's husband, James Watson, died when she was 24. She raised her two sons, Jim and Terry, on her own.

"She was a wonderful mother. She couldn't swim, but she taught her boys to water ski. She used to ride roller skates and go-carts down the hill with them," Pam Watson said.

She was a member of the Martinsburg Ladies Auxiliary of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and American Legion, the Women of the Moose, Panhandle Travel Club and Happy Goers Travel Club.

"When she was a friend, she was a friend for life," her daughter-in-law said.

She said her mother-in-law had many friends.

Kathleen Watson is survived by her two sons and daughters-in-law, and one granddaughter.

She had two dogs named McGregor and P-nut, and two cats named Salvador and Monet. The dogs were a big part of her life, Pam Watson said.

"She loved animals. After her family, animals were next," she said.

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