Pick Your Community: | Hopkins | Muhlenberg | Daviess | Christian | Fayette | Henderson | Lakes | McCracken | Warren | Webster

UPDATE: Funeral for 9 members of Watson family held at Felix Martin Hall; Willard Watson video included

1-9laidtorestkyfireWatson family funeral procession led by nine white hearses Saturday afternoon in Greenville, Ky. (SurfKY News Photo/Rita Dukes Smith)

1watsonfamilyperishinkentuckyfire

MUHLENBERG COUNTY, Ky. (2/8/14) — Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m., as The Band Perry song "If I Die Young" echoed through Felix Martin Hall at Muhlenberg County High School, funeral services began for nine members of the Chad and LaRae Watson family.

Hundreds crowded into Martin Hall to pay their respects to the family from Depoy, a small community located just minutes from the school.

Eight of the Watson's nine children and their mother, LaRae “Nikki”, perished on Jan. 31 when flames from the home's only source of heat, a baseboard heater, ignited a devastating and deadly fire in a matter of minutes.

Mrs. Watson's husband, Chad, and the family's one surviving daughter, Kylie, continue recover at the Vanderbilt Hospital Critical Burn Unit.  

The Rev. Tim Burden, of Calvary Baptist Church in Central City, where the Watsons were very active, opened the service.

"This is a very difficult time for the family, their friends, and for our little church, that they were such a big part of,” Burden said. "This tragedy has brought people together in this county and beyond, in ways no one could have imagined just over a week ago."

Burden noted that this is a very difficult time especially for the Watsons and their relatives and many friends.

Burden said, "We appreciate this family so much, and love them so."

Burden was followed by a song from the Oak Ridge Boys, "Thank God For Kids”, which took on a whole new and heart-wrenching meaning as those attending the funeral sat, with many heads bowed, and nine caskets in a row at the front of the hall . . . a heartbreaking reminder of a dedicated mother and her eight children who just days ago, according to friends and neighbors, enjoyed life even without the many luxuries other children consider necessities.  

Pastor Brad St. George, a longtime friend of Chad and Nikki Watson, spoke of the awakening impact this tragedy in the small town of Depoy is even now having around the nation and the world.

"This is an opportunity to open the eyes of people around the nation and the world. God is calling people to Him through this horrific event. People, even now are being saved by this heart-breaking event. LaRae Watson was all about her kids. She would die for them . . . and she did,” St. George said.

After another musical interlude, Vince Gill's “Go Rest High On The Mountain”, Chad Watson's first cousin Rev.

Adam Brown of Temple Baptist Church in Central City, shared his thoughts on why Chad and LaRae wanted to have so many children.

"When I would ask Chad that question, he would just quote Psalm 127,” Brown said.

"Children are a heritage from the Lord,
offspring a reward from him.
Like arrows in the hands of a warrior
are children born in one’s youth.
Blessed is the man
whose quiver is full of them."

"Chad knew if you have that many children you are going to have to struggle,” Brown said. “But he would continue with more wisdom from Psalms, noting verses that speak of the fact that happy is the man who has many children.”

Brown added that if there was one word to describe the Watsons and their quiver of children, that word would be "happy".

Brown added that just a few days before the fire, Chad told him something he would never forget.

"I have my wife, I have my kids, and we are happy,” said Brown about Watson.

Brown said that Nikki Watson shared the same attitude.

"Nikki loved her children. She proved that love with each child. Nikki loved them all, with all her heart,” Brown said. "Those children were not a burden to Chad and Nikki. They were a blessing. The older ones would take care of the younger ones like mother hens."

The Rev. Scott Casebier, a close friend of the family, closed the service asking why did God allow this tragedy to happen to this family.

"We can't say enough about the first responders who did all they could on the scene the morning this tragedy happened,” Casebier said. "But if we believe the Gospel, they were really not the first on the scene. The Lord Jesus arrived first. And I believe Jesus called each of them by name. LaRae, Madison, Kaitlyn, Morgan, Emily, Samuel, Raegan, Mark and Nathaniel. Jesus said to them, 'Be not afraid'. And with that, God ushered them across the valley into the presence of God."  

1watsonstrongExpressions of sympathy can be made to: Old National Bank, First Ky Bank or Commonwealth Community Bank.  

 

Paul McRee
SurfKY News Reporter

© Copyright 2014 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story by using one of the social media links below.

Latest Video

3/12 - 718 switched from reg 2 to hopkins only
3/13 - 16

Stock Report

1 DOW 17,098.45
+18.88 (0.11%)    
2 S&P 2,003.37
+6.63 (0.33%)    
3 NASDAQ 4,580.27
+22.58 (0.50%)    
3/12 - 718 switched from reg 2 to hopkins only
3/13 - 16
3/12 - 718 switched from reg 2 to hopkins only
3/13 - 16

In Other News...

Business Spotlight - First Security Bank

CENTRAL CITY, Ky. (8/27/14) — First Security Bank is a 100-year-old bank, which is locally owned and operated.… Read More

E.C.C. Dispatchers Graduate Top of Their Class

HOPKINSVILLE, Ky. (8/29/14) — Two Hopkinsville E.C.C. Dispatchers graduated at the top of their graduating class during… Read More
3/12 - 718 switched from reg 2 to hopkins only
3/13 - 16

Most Read This Week (Site-Wide)

August 29, 2014 6395

Luke's Flea Market Vendors' Home Away…

in News by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
August 26, 2014 5109

Owensboro Board of Commissioners…

in News by Beth Cecil
August 28, 2014 4978

Police Pursuit Spans Parts of Northern…

in Top Stories by Alex Piper, MCSO
August 26, 2014 4619

Family Has Close Call with Tornado

in Top Stories by Paul McRee, SurfKY News
August 26, 2014 4300

City Street Closures on Strawbridge and…

in News by Abby Shelton

Most Read Stories from Hopkins County

August 30, 2014 2603

Ponderosa Madisonville to Donate 10…

in Top Stories by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
August 26, 2014 2196

Two People Injured When Vehicle Overturns…

in Top Stories by Matt Sanderson
August 27, 2014 1607

Crime Stoppers Top Most Wanted - August…

in Top Stories by Crime Stoppers
August 29, 2014 731

MCC Announces New Board Members

in Top Stories by Joyce Riggs
August 26, 2014 695

Whitfield Presents $1 Million FEMA Check…

in Top Stories by Amber Averitt, SurfKY News

Most Read Stories from Owensboro

August 26, 2014 5109

Owensboro Board of Commissioners…

in News by Beth Cecil
August 26, 2014 4300

City Street Closures on Strawbridge and…

in News by Abby Shelton
August 26, 2014 2223

City Hall, Transit, Sanitation Schedules…

in News by Abby Shelton
August 27, 2014 1707

Owensboro Police Conduct Investigations

in News by Dennis Beard, SurfKY News
August 26, 2014 1646

Happy Birthday to the Edge Ice Center

in News by Brittni Bunn

Most Read Stories from Muhlenberg County

August 28, 2014 4978

Police Pursuit Spans Parts of Northern…

in Top Stories by Alex Piper, MCSO
August 26, 2014 4619

Family Has Close Call with Tornado

in Top Stories by Paul McRee, SurfKY News
August 27, 2014 3982

Five Injured in Three-Vehicle Accident

in Top Stories by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
August 26, 2014 2824

Annual Everly Brothers Cruise In…

in Top Stories by Paul McRee, SurfKY News
August 27, 2014 2230

Muhlenberg Job Corps Former Student…

in Top Stories by Karen Robinson

SurfKY News Group, Inc. Central Office & Printing Division
1125 Nebo Rd.  •  Madisonville, KY 42431  •  270.452.2249 (fax)
Main Number: 270.452.2727 (phone)  •  Printing Division Direct Line: 270.821.8600 (phone)

SurfKY Owensboro News Bureau
920 Frederica St. / Suite 210  •  Owensboro, KY 42301  •  270.683-8060 (phone)


Contact a member of our staff: www.surfky.com/contact
Copyright © 2014 SurfKY News Group, Inc.  •  Terms of Use  •  Site Map

social 03social 04social 22social 21social 06