Joe Benny Watson, age 74, of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, passed away Friday, July 11, 2014 after a short illness.

He was born August 24, 1939 in Boone, North Carolina, a son of the late Vandell and Rosie Mae Miller Watson. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by one brother, Jerry Watson, and one sister, Ann Parsons.

Joe owned and operated Speights Shoe Service for 40 years until his retirement in 2000. He was a 32nd Degree Master Mason at Myrtle Beach Masonic Lodge #353 and a member of the Omar Shrine of Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina. He was a past president and active member in the Omar Beachcombers and a board member of the Horry Shrine. He was a founding board member of the Downtown Myrtle Beach Revitalization Committee and former member of the Myrtle Beach Jaycees and Myrtle Beach Corvette Club. Joe was a member of the First United Methodist Church where he served on the Finance Committee and as an usher. He served his country in the U.S. Air Force from 1956 until 1960 and was stationed at Myrtle Beach Air Force Base.

He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Roxyanne Speights Watson, his son, Rusty Watson and fiancee' Annette Swain of Myrtle Beach, his daughter, Robin Watson Payne and husband Michael of Florence, South Carolina, his grandchildren, Blake Watson and Jorden Watson of Bristol, Virginia, Kevin Payne of Houston, Texas; Melanie Payne of Florence, South Carolina, Antoinette Chicchirichi of Myrtle Beach; two great-granddaughters, Haylea Watson and Aly Jo Watson of Bristol, Virginia, a twin brother, Johnny Watson and wife Linda Gail of Lexington, North Carolina, a brother Jim Watson of Archdale, North Carolina, and a sister, Linda Gardner and husband Richard of Lexington, North Carolina. He is also survived by a number of nieces and nephews.

Funeral services for Joe Benny Watson will be conducted Monday morning, July 14, 2014, at 11:00 o'clock, at First United Methodist Church in Myrtle Beach. Burial with Masonic Rites will follow in Ocean Woods Memorial Cemetery.

The family will receive friends Sunday afternoon, from 3:00 until 5:00 o'clock at McMillian-Small Funeral Home in Myrtle Beach.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Omar Beachcombers Shrine Unit, Post Office Box 66, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina 29578.

Online condolences may be sent to the Watson family at

McMillan-Small Funeral Home in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina is in charge of the arrangements.

This announcement is courtesy of Hampton Funeral and Cremation Service.

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