With the heaviest of hearts we announce the passing of Helen Long Watts, our sweet and loving mother.

Helen was surrounded by her family and passed on Wednesday, Jan 18, 2023, after a long courageous battle. She was one of the strongest people that ever walked this earth and fought until the very end. We could not be prouder of her.

Helen was born on April 21, 1941, in Halifax to the late Osbourne David and Bernice Bray Long.

She had three sisters (Margaret, Fran and Ella) and one brother Raymond. She adored them all.

She was married to John Bennet (J.B.) Watts in 1961 and had four children (Steve, Todd, Chris and Sherry) that she was fiercely dedicated to. She was blessed with three grandchildren (Austin, Devin and J.P.) along with countless nieces, nephews, cousins and a son-in-law (Alex) that held the true strings to her heart. Helen had numerous close friends that she also considered family and nothing made her happier than visiting with them. She was the queen of the “just calling to tell you I love you” phone call — a simple symbol of tenderness that seems so hard to find these days.

In the last few years, she was blessed to have family friend Brian Phillips close by her side. He spent many nights making sure his “second momma” was happy.

Momma. That single word says it all. She just wasn’t our momma; she was everyone’s momma. She was the sun that kissed our cheek, the breeze in our hair and that sweet, mystifying scent that floods your senses with memories of home. She is in everything we say and do, she is intrepid, she carries on.

Everyone that knew her are left all the better for it.

She was the one human who loved you and meant it. Her smile was lovely, her sense of humor remarkable. Her temper was quick, but her courage was as extraordinary as her ability to love. To say her door was always open is an understatement. No soul was homeless that she loved or that her children called friend.

Helen adored music, especially country music, and along with her main dancing partner, JB, established and ran a weekly Saturday night gathering (affectionately referred to as “The Dance”) for over 20 years. In the last few years, some remarkable friends have volunteered to make sure “The Dance” continued when Helen was no longer able to attend.

Helen was ill for many years, but never gave up hope and never let her illness shatter her spirit. She fought, she endured, and she never lost the gleam in her eyes...she always worried more about those she loved than she did herself. Momma was a lesson in fortitude and a scholar in love.

“I believe a strong woman may be stronger than a man, particularly if she happens to have love in her heart. I guess a loving woman is Indestructible.” — John Steinbeck.

We love you momma, always. We will see you every night in our dreams.

Funeral services will be held at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2023, at Dan River Baptist Church with burial to follow in the church cemetery. The family will receive friends at the church prior to the service from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, please consider donations to the Halifax County Cancer Association or the American Cancer Society.

Brooks Lyon Funeral Home is honored to serve the Watts family and offers online condolences as well as many other resources by visiting their website, www.brookslyon.com or by going to their Facebook page.