Cherry Blossoms

Vira Lee (Murdoch) Watson

September 12, 1922 ~ October 13, 2021 (age 99)

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Vira Lee (Murdoch) Watson, 99, of Wildwood died peacefully in her home on Wednesday, October 13, 2021.  She was the first child of James Guion Murdoch and Lillian Gladys Teasley, born at their home in Wildwood on September 12, 1922.

She was raised in the Wildwood community, along with her brothers James Guion Murdoch Jr. and Andrew Wiley Murdoch.  She graduated from Newport High School, Valedictorian, class of 1939.  After graduation she attended business school in Morehead City

She wed Roy Thomas Dickinson on January 11, 1941 and raised their six children in the Wildwood community.  She was a dedicated mother and homemaker, Sunday school teacher, Cub Scout leader, seamstress, and avid reader and gardener known for her many flower beds, canned vegetables, and fruit jellies and preserves.

In 1968 she relocated to Havelock with her two children who were still at home, working multiple jobs to support the family.  She was an active member and Elder of Trinity Presbyterian Church.  In 1972, at the age of 50, she started a new job with the City of Havelock.  In time she was promoted to City Tax Collector, and then to City Clerk.

In 1976 she married the “Colonel,” William Finley Watson who welcomed her large, and boisterous family into his home and heart.  They were happily married until his death in 1991.

In 1992, at the age of 70 she retired from the City of Havelock.  She enjoyed her retirement years traveling with friends and family, tending her flower garden(s), writing, documenting her family’s history, and developing her computer skills.  And, as the matriarch of five generations, she was always the hostess for the frequent, very large family gatherings at Christmas and Thanksgiving, Easter Egg Hunts, oyster roasts, and birthday celebrations that provided countless, special memories associated with “Grandma Vi.”

She returned to her birthplace, Wildwood in 2007 to enjoy her remaining years reading, feeding and watching her beloved birds, supporting Wildwood Presbyterian Church, and spending time with her many grandchildren, great grandchildren, and great-great grandchildren.

She is survived by her brother “Huck” Murdoch and wife Clyde of Bainbridge Island, WA; daughters -Linda Dickinson Pollock and husband Harold of Newport; Rachel Dickinson and husband Howard Rawls of Wildwood; sons - Dean Dickinson and wife Patsy of Havelock; Don Dickinson and wife Lu of Cary; step-daughter Kathy Stephens Hand and husband Hank of Newport; 12 grandchildren; 24 great-grandchildren; 14 great-great-grandchildren; and three nieces and two nephews.  And her special, loving caregiver of over six years, Helen LaCroix of Havelock.

She was preceded in death by her parents; husband William Finley Watson, Lt. Colonel, Ret. USMC; brother James Guion Jr. and wife Veda; son Tommy Dickinson and wife Jalna; daughter Sue Dickinson Bell and husband Alvin.

Services will be held at Wildwood Presbyterian Church on Sunday, October 17th at 2:00 PM, followed by a burial service at the Wildwood Community Cemetery.  In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Wildwood Presbyterian Church, 276 Wildwood Road, Newport, NC, 28570.  Designate on the check memo line the donation is for the Food Pantry or the Wildwood Community Cemetery fund.

Condolences and life tributes may be sent to the family at

Arrangements by Noe-Brooks Funeral Home, Morehead City, NC.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Vira Lee (Murdoch) Watson, please visit our floral store.


Funeral Service
October 17, 2021

2:00 PM
Wildwood Presbyterian Church

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