Transportation 18

Willis Ransone Watts Jr.

March 9, 1998 ~ April 11, 2019 (age 21)

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Willis Ransone Watts, Jr., age 21 of Botetourt, went home to be with the Lord Thursday, April 11, 2019 at the National Institute of Health in Bethesda, Maryland following a long illness.

Willis was born in Roanoke March 9, 1998 and lived in Botetourt all of his life.

He was a graduate of Lord Botetourt High School in 2016 where he was a member of FFA, attended Radford University and Virginia Tech, and was a member of Buchanan Baptist Church. Willis enjoyed spending time with family, friends, riding motorcycles, collecting pocket knives, and hunting. He never knew a stranger. A true gentleman, he was an example of selflessness and courage for us all.

He was preceded in death by his grandfather, Ralph Watts, Sr.; dearest great-aunt, Shirley Painter; aunt, Theresa Arey; and cousin, Chris MacLeish. Willis is survived by his mother, Nora Firebaugh Watts (Sam Draper); father, Willis R. Watts, Sr. (Bonnie Morrison) all of Botetourt; brother and sister-in-law David and Katie Watts of Buchanan; sister Lindsey Calhoun and her daughter Elaina Calhoun of Botetourt; longtime girlfriend, Alisa Lumsden; grandparents: Barbara and Phillip Trent of Moneta, and Isabelle Watts of Buchanan; aunts and uncles: Patricia and Todd Blevins, Ralph and Becky Watts; cousins: Jason and Brian Blevins, Austin Arey, and Annette Watts.

The Watts family would like to extend a special thanks to Willis’ team of doctors and nurses at NIH, especially Dr. Gulbu Uzel, Dr. Jennifer Kanakry, Dr. Joe O’Neil, the 3rd Floor nurses, and The Children’s Inn at NIH for always making their stay as comfortable as possible.

A celebration of Willis’ life will be held at 11:00 AM Saturday, April 20 at Rader Funeral Home, 630 Roanoke Road Daleville with Reverend Mike Woody officiating. Burial will be at Fairview Cemetery in Buchanan. The family will receive friends at the funeral home 6:00-8:00 PM Friday.

The family suggests memorial contributions be made in Willis’ memory to National Institutes of Health, Watts CTLA4 Gift Fund, C/O Dr. Gulbu Uzel, 9000 Rockville Pike, Bldg. 10 12C 103, Bethesda MD 20892. Web:

Online condolences may be made to the Watts family at

Click here to view a webcast of the service on 4/20/2019 at 11:00 AM, Eastern Standard Time.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Willis Ransone Watts Jr., please visit our floral store.


April 19, 2019

6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Rader Funeral Home
630 Roanoke Rd.
Daleville, VA 24083

April 20, 2019

11:00 AM
Rader Funeral Home
630 Roanoke Rd.
Daleville, VA 24083


Fairview Cemetery
111 Fairview Street
Buchanan, VA 24066


National Institutes of Health, Watts CTLA4 Gift Fund
C/O Dr. Gulbu Uzel, 9000 Rockville Pike, Bldg 10 12C 103, Bethesda MD 20892

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