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

LIKE SurfKY on Facebook - Click here to LIKE us now.

© Copyright 2015 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 on social media.

Posted on 2/2/14
3/13 - 16
3/13 - 16

Most Read This Week

April 13, 2015 6217

Three Juveniles, Adult Accused of Vandalizing…

by Deputy Will Coursey
April 17, 2015 6009

An Open Letter from an Addict

by Olivia Kirks
April 14, 2015 5071

Several Juveniles Charged in Connection with Fight

by SurfKY News
April 18, 2015 4318

Man Charged with Attempting to Coerce Minor for…

by Madisonville Police Department
April 16, 2015 3401

Crime Stoppers Fugitive of the Week – April 16,…

by Hopkinsville – Christian County Crime Stoppers

Most Read This Month

April 02, 2015 8476

UPDATE: Madisonville Man Injured in Head-on…

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
March 27, 2015 6698

Three Arrested during Execution of Search…

by Madisonville Police Department/Hopkins County Detention Center

Stories Trending Now

April 17, 2015 6009

An Open Letter from an Addict

by Olivia Kirks
April 18, 2015 4318

Man Charged with Attempting to Coerce Minor for…

by Madisonville Police Department
April 18, 2015 1019

MPD Offers Advice On Prom, Underage Drinking

by Lt. Billy Poe
April 18, 2015 782

Market Commentary - April 18, 2015

by Randall L. Franklin
April 18, 2015 527

Home, Garden Show Concludes Today at Ballard…

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
April 19, 2015 504

ATV Ride, Cookout Raises Funds for Shanice Bean…

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
April 18, 2015 474

Happenings and Meetings - Hopkins County

by Amber Averitt, SurfKY News
April 18, 2015 461

Keeping the Faith - 'God Smiles'

by Ronnie McBrayer
April 18, 2015 441

TVA's Regional Energy Resource Council to Meet in…

by Tennessee Valley Authority
April 18, 2015 425

Hooked on Science - Skewer a Balloon

by Jason Lindsey