Darla Ruth McCloud Watson

  • "May our Lord continue to bless and comfort you and your..."
    - Lorena Hooker & Family
  • "You are in our thoughts and prayers."
    - Sanders and Gant Family
  • "I express my deepest condolensce to the the family of Darla..."
  • " Darla was my dear friend and homey. We were line sisters..."
    - Nita Black James
  • "For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. May God..."

Darla (Dolly) Ruth McCloud Watson Min. Darla (Dolly) Ruth McCloud Watson, of Tampa, Florida, born on April 8, 1956 in Bradenton, Florida, to the late Josephine McCloud and the late Palestine McCloud, passed away at age 62 on May 25, 2018. In 1965 she was among the first African-Americans to integrate Palmetto Elementary School. After graduation from Palmetto High School in 1974, Darla was granted a scholarship to attend Harvard University. Although accepted for enrollment at Harvard, she elected to stay close to her ailing grandmother and attended the University of South Florida where she was initiated into the Zeta Upsilon Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Darla began her business career early by delivering the Florida Sentinel Bulletin newspaper throughout Manatee County from 8 years of age until graduating High School. She was an Accounts Receivable Representative in the Consumer Services and Financial industry until retiring in 2014. Darla was married to her beloved Rev. Frank Watson II for 40 years. She was preceded in death by her sister, Wilma Jean McCloud; grandmother, Darthula Dean; grandfather, Joe Dean, mother-in-law, Ollie Mae Watson; father-in-law, Frank Watson; and sister-in-law, Madeline McCloud. Darla is survived by her son, Frank D. Watson; daughter, Lakisha Watson Harris, son-in-law, Alexander Grayson Harris III; brothers, James E. McCloud, Joseph Edward McCloud, and Willis Earl McCloud; aunts, Arie (Ora) Lee Ragler and Kayersia Tillman; brothers-in-law, Victor Watson and Vernon Watson; and sisters-in-law, Renee Watson, Debora DeLeon McCloud, and Tanya McCloud; grandchild, Alexander Grayson Harris IV; and friends, Lakethie Swicord and Zykiria Singleton; as well as a host of nieces, nephews. She was a founder, circa 1996, alongside her husband, of Life Changing Bible Church in Tampa. Her firm roots in the church were nurtured since childhood at St. John Missionary Baptist Church in Palmetto, Florida. Friends and Family Visitation Wake will be on Friday, June 15, 2018 from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Ray Williams Funeral Home, 301 North Howard Avenue, Tampa, Florida, 33606. A Homegoing Service will take place, officiated by Rev. Dr. Bartholomew Banks, on Saturday, June 16, 2018 from 2:00 to 3:30 p.m. at St. John Progressive Missionary Baptist Church, 2504 Chipco Street, Tampa, Florida, 33605. The Burial will follow at Garden of Memories, 4207 E. Lake Ave, Tampa, Florida, 33610. "...I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there you maybe also."
Funeral Home
Ray Williams Funeral Home, Inc.
301 North Howard Avenue
Tampa, FL 33606
(813) 253-3419
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Published in The Bradenton Herald on June 14, 2018
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