Alda Jean “AJ” Watson, née Franklin, age 88, of New Providence, New Jersey, passed away on January 13th.
AJ was born on August 18, 1935, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to Chauncey Oscar Franklin and Alda Henry Franklin. She is survived by her three children, Greg (Jill), Lawrence, and Gail (Andrew); her five grandchildren, Richard (Lauren), Ryan, Sean, Madeline, and Spencer; as well as her sister, Janet Landis. AJ was preceded in death by her husband, Richard White Watson, Jr.
Music was her first love – AJ began humming tunes as an infant and never stopped singing. As a youth, she learned to play piano and sang in school and church choirs. After attending Munhall (PA) High School where she played saxophone in the marching band, AJ earned a BA in Music Education from the Pennsylvania State Teachers College (now Indiana University of Pennsylvania). AJ joined the women’s singing group known as The Interludes in 1971 and remained an active member for over 50 years; the experiences she had and the friends that she made were a huge part of AJ’s life.
AJ spent her entire adult life volunteering and was actively involved with the United Way and the Girl Scouts. In 1998, she was presented with the Thanks Badge II – the highest adult award in Girl Scouting. AJ trained countless Girl Scout leaders, organized camping trips, taught crafts and campfire songs, and advised girls who were working on their SIlver and Gold awards.
In her free time, AJ enjoyed gardening, reading, cooking, watching sports, spending time with family, and keeping in touch with old and new friends. She was also fortunate to have been able to travel to many parts of the world with her husband in their retirement years.