Caroline Watts, 69, died on November 8, 2020, at her home in Madison, Va., of a glioblastoma brain tumor. Caroline was born on December 30, 1950, in Charleston, W.Va., the daughter of Matthew Williamson Watts and Evelyn Green Fray Watts. She graduated from Madison County High School, Mary Baldwin College and Washington and Lee University School of Law, where she was a member of the first class that accepted women. At W & L, she was a Burks Scholar Teaching Fellow and finalist in the Moot Court competition. After graduation, Caroline clerked for the Honorable H.E. Widener Jr., Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. She returned to Madison to join Watts and Watts and practice law with her father, as he had with his father in Charleston. Caroline was elected Commonwealth's Attorney of Madison County 1984-1995 and Madison County Clerk of the Circuit Court 1995-2009. She loved serving the people of Madison County and embodied her campaign slogan "she cares enough to do her best". Caroline was an enthusiastic nature photographer of the Blue Ridge region, Greenbrier County, W.Va. and throughout Madison County. With camera in hand, she also explored the American Southwest, Greek islands, Cayman Islands, and Nairobi National Park. She was awarded 1st place by Virginia Wildlife in 1994 for her beautiful photograph of water lilies in bloom. Caroline was an active Master Naturalist, accomplished equestrian and member of the Madison Choral Society. She enjoyed bird watching and cultivating native plants. She was a Life Member of Madison County Rescue Squad. Caroline was devoted to her family, friends, and constituents and as a caregiver to her parents in their later years. Family members who were the recipients of her numerous greeting cards, generous care packages and thoughtful gifts called her "the best."
Caroline is survived by siblings, Laura W. Williamson of Blackstone, J. Blackburn Watts (Vickie) of Brightwood, John W. Watts of Crozet, Evelyn W. Way (Dave) of Spotsylvania; as well as nieces and nephews whom she adored, Caroline W. Herath (Jeff), Matthew L. Williamson, Laura K. Mondrey (Carlos), Jo B. Watts, Justin A. Watts (Joanna), David P. Way, Helen W. Blazek (Ken), and Evelyn Elizabeth W. Thomas. Great-nieces and nephews include Christopher and Michael Herath, Jesse and Jasper Mondrey, Amelia and Madelyn Watts, Lily, Kenny, Eliza and Eleanor Blazek, and Sawyer Thomas.
The family looks forward to gathering with friends in the Spring to share memories of Caroline, when risks of meeting in person are lessened. Memorial gifts may be made to Madison County Rescue Squad or to the Madison Chapter Salvation Army where Caroline was a faithful bellringer.
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Published by Madison County Eagle on Nov. 19, 2020.