Reverend Doctor Harvey Langill Watson
The Reverend Doctor Harvey Langill Watson, beloved husband, devoted father and grandfather, cherished friend, and dedicated minister in the North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church, died peacefully on April 12, 2013.
He is survived by his loving wife of 57 years, Elizabeth Martin Watson; daughter Amy Watson Briceño; son Harvey Langill Watson Jr. and his wife Ginger Love Watson; son Arthur David Watson and his wife Jane Goellner Watson. Langill is preceded in death by his daughter, Anna Watson Blair. He adored his ten grandchildren, Virginia Blair Watson, Katherine Elizabeth Watson, Koehler Amalia Briceño, James Harvey Watson, Cristopher Alexander Briceño, Anna Elizabeth Blair, Sara Kiley Watson, Katherine Blakeney Blair, Kathryn Langill Watson, and James Seaborn Blair, IV.
Langill was born on April 5, 1925 at his family farm in Tuscarora, North Carolina. He was born to Susan Griffin Watson and Clyde Ledower Watson. As an only child, Langill embraced his extended family community of cousins and grandparents and other assorted relatives in the Watson, Griffin, Shelton, Ipock, and Crisco clans. After his marriage in 1955, the Martins and Koehlers of Iowa became a vital part of his family circle.
Langill was a graduate of New Bern High School and attended Louisburg College and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He graduated from Duke University, Yale Divinity School, and completed the Merrill Fellowship at Harvard Divinity School.
One of his early inspirations in life was being part of the Boy Scout program. With the support and care of his Scoutmaster, Mr. Potter, and the local Craven County chapter, Langill eventually became an Eagle Scout.
In his childhood years, Langill discovered a local country church near his family farm and thus began a lifelong journey of active involvement in the life of the Church. Langill was called to ministry and devoted most of his life to the United Methodist Church in North Carolina. Langill faithfully served in the following appointments within the North Carolina Annual Conference: Havelock UMC; Westminister UMC in Kinston, NC; Graham UMC; University UMC in Chapel Hill, NC; the Durham District; First UMC in Wilson, NC; and First UMC in Rocky Mount, NC. Langill also served an appointment as a youth minister in Ashton-under-Lyne, England. Upon returning to Chapel Hill for his retirement years, Langill was honored with becoming a Pastor Emeritus at University United Methodist Church.
Langill was passionate about a ministry that was actively involved in the community and the world at large. He felt called to develop the role of the church in helping youth discern their faith, in supporting volunteers in mission, in extending the face of the church beyond its doors, and in providing outreach to the neighboring community. He was an active mentor to many people who were starting out on their paths in ministry. Langill was sometimes outspoken on the floors of the North Carolina Annual Conference and was respected by his peers for his commitment to issues of social justice that had not quite met their time. He was known as an 'enthusiastic' singer and loved the old hymns of the church.
While working with a group at Camp Don Lee, Langill discovered a lot on Neuse River near Arapahoe, which would become the Watson family retreat during its many years of moving across eastern North Carolina. His most treasured moments were spent with his family at this blessed place.
A funeral service will be held at University United Methodist Church, 150 East Franklin Street, Chapel Hill, NC, on Thursday, April 18, at 2:00 PM. The family will receive visitors after the service.
A private burial will take place at Spring Garden Cemetery in Craven County.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to:
Camp Don Lee Center Health Center, 315 Camp Don Lee Road, Arapahoe, NC, 28510, Attention: Rev. John Farmer.
The Langill and Elizabeth Watson Scholarship Fund, North Carolina Weslyan College, Office of College Advancement, 3400 N Wesleyan Boulevard, Rocky Mount, NC 27
Published in The News & Observer on Apr. 14, 2013.