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Sheila Dawn Watson
20 March 1951 - 18 July 2005

Sheila Dawn Watson, 54, 5492 N. E00W, died at 1:20 p.m. Monday at home.

She was born in Beech Grove to the late Everett Edward and Dorothy Lee Ellen (Gray) Rider. She was a resident of Marion most of her life. She married David Lee Watson on Dec. 24, 1985. He survives.

She retired from General Cable. She was a genealogist and amateur Grant County historian and documented the pioneer cemeteries of Grant County. She was the Grant County coordinator for the US Gen Web and made Grant County history available to people all over the world. She was an art and nature lover.

Additional survivors include sons, Michael Duane Kelly, Lafayette, Tenn., Jeffrey Allen Kelly and Matthew Wade (Barbara) Kelly, both of Marion; brothers, Richard Edward (Barbara Ann) Rider, Marion, and Bob (Teresa) Poe, Illinois; sisters, Gloria Jean (Forrest) Drook and Deboral Lynn Peer Williams, both of Marion; nine grandchildren; one great-grandchild.

She also was preceded in death by a sister, Annie Ellen Peer.

Services are at 1 p.m. Friday in Needham-Storey-Wampner Funeral Service, North Chapel, 1341 N. Baldwin Ave., with Pastor Joel Simmons officiating. Burial is in Jefferson Cemetery, Upland.

Visitation is from 4 to 8 p.m. Thursday at the funeral home. Online condolences may be made at

Memorials may be made to the genealogy department of the Marion Public Library, 600 S. Washington St., Marion, Ind. 46953.

David, Sheila's husband, sends us his thoughts:

David says, "I still find it hard to sit here at Sheila's computer where she spent so much of her time doing what she loved to do. I'm not sure what you need to know about her to place on the INGenWeb Memorial site so will tell you how she became interested in Grant County history."

My mother and father were descendants of early settlers to Grant County and when they passed away in the 1980s Sheila realized she couldn't remember the things they had told her that they felt were so important. This caused her to spend a lot of time in the old Indiana room at the Marion Public Library where she served as a volunteer. She became engrossed in the old pioneer cemetery records and found that the DAR's mimeographed readings were very faded and inaccurate from what she was finding in the actual cemeteries. She felt she had to correct this so she spent the better part of twenty years tramping through the underbrush in every pioneer cemetery in the county. She also became interested in her own ancestry which took her(us) to many other states. In about 1996 she discovered the USGenWeb where Betty Sellers was the CC for Grant County as well as for other counties. After much persuasion from Betty, Sheila accepted the position of Grant County coordinator not knowing anything about how to work on the internet. With a lot of help from Betty, she got it up and running and never looked back. It and Grant County history became two of the most important things in her life and she put her heart and soul into it and shared her knowledge with anyone who needed help.

She will be missed by many people but hopefully, her work will still be available. Hope this is what you need."

Best regards,
David Watson

Name: A.Arlene [Brattain] Armstrong
Date:   2005-08-17
Comments:   We have lost a gifted historian. We will all miss her passing.

Name: Al & Patty Weber-Dolores Riders Daug. & Son In Law
Date:   2005-08-13
Comments:   We are very sorry for your loss. Mom has always spoken kindly of her.

Name: Forrest & Gloria Jean Drook
Date:   2005-08-06
Comments:   Sheila will be sadly missed by her sister and family. Remembering the good times we spent together. Her work on genealogy was her love. A lot of times I would have liked to visit she would be at the cemetery doing her work for genealogy. I understand more now, which was her passion to help others find their loved ones. She helped with our ancestors finding the Foudray family history. She liked people and was a good listener. She will be missed by all of us and we love her very much. Love always Jeannie

Name: Richard & Barbara Rider
Date:   2005-08-06
Comments:  Sheila was such a wonderful person and loving sister to us. She was a joy to have in our lives. She worked very hard on her genealogy . Many times we went to see her and she was busy doing her genealogy work. Her life and love for everyone will go on for many, many years. Her books at the library shows how dedicated she was.

Name: David Watson
Date:   2005-08-01
Comments:   I am Sheila's husband and I just want to say that I think this site is a great thing to do for those who have served with the INGenWeb Project. Sheila will be missed for years to come and my hope is that all of her work will always be on line for those who are searching. As she would say, may you find all that you seek.
Best regards,
David Watson, husband of one of the BEST.

Name: Patty - A Wyoming person She tried to assist
Date:   2006-06-17
Comments:  I am sorry to hear Sheila passed away. I had barely started researching my Indiana ancestors and I posted an email and she responded. I was stunned. I didn't realize people doing geneology were so willing to help. She was the first!!! I can't even remember what I asked for now. She was right there immediately!! I was so surprised to see her "Memory Book". I did not know her but I can see why people will miss her.

Name: From: Donna Skinner
Date:  2008-2-3
I worked with Sheila for 20 years. Since retirement, I lost touch with Sheila and didn’t know until recently that she had passed on. We had some good times together at work and a few times out of work. She was truly passionate about her work in genealogy. Knowing that she is not with us any more makes me sad for David and her family, as I know they have missed her greatly.