In Loving Memory of Callie Frances Wattenbarger: 1930-2022


Callie Frances Wattenbarger, a resident of Rainier, Washington, passed away peacefully, Sunday, Feb. 20, 2022, in her home with her loving daughter and nephew by her side.

Callie was born Aug. 28, 1930, in McMinn County, Tennessee, to Arlie and Otto (Lockmiller) Newman.

When asked what it was like growing up during the Great Depression, she would say, “We did not know we were depressed.” Her family owned and operated a dairy farm, and grew their own food, or traded at the local store. Times were tough, but their needs were met.

Callie attended the First Baptist Church in Yelm for many years where she sang in the choir, then later played the piano. She was always ready to volunteer whether it be annually for Vacation Bible School or monthly to make something delicious for potluck. She participated in senior activities, like day trips, kids craft days, Sunday school team teacher for the little children, team teacher for Girls in Action, and she helped feed the volunteers during the construction of the multipurpose building. 

Affectionately known as Miss Callie, she worked for Pamela Kitchen and later Wendy Baldwin for almost 40 years at the H&R Block location in Yelm. She did everything from front desk reception to preparing income taxes, personal assistant, and whatever else was asked of her. She enjoyed walking in the Yelm Parade for H&R Block as well as riding in the truck as she waved and tossed candy.

Callie attended lunch at the Rainier Senior Center most Mondays and Wednesdays where she enjoyed the interaction with others. She volunteered to make and bring baked goods to their fundraisers, and always brought something to the potluck lunches. 

She was preceded in death on July 19, 1982, by her husband Paul Wattenbarger of Rainier, Washington, and on May 3, 2020, by her brother Kenneth Newman of Athens, Tennessee. 

She is survived by her daughter Feedie Wattenbarger of Graham, Washington; brother Charles (Charlotte) Newman; nieces and nephews Jeannie (Joe) Knox, Vince (Jeannie) Newman, Jan (Tim) Stephens, from Athens, Tennessee, and Laura (John) Boyden from Atlanta, Georgia; great-nieces and nephews Ashley Knox from Georgia, Kayla (Colby) Thornton, Rachael (Derek) Johnson, McCall and Brock Newman from Tennessee, and Anna and Cole Boydon from Georgia; nephews and nieces Paul (Gwen) Wattenbarger, Irwin (Mikie) Wattenbarger from Salem, Oregon, Dennis (LaVonda) Wattenbarger from Lancaster, California, Wanda Wattenbarger of Garrison, Kentucky; great-nieces and nephews Venus and Melissa Wattenbarger, Heidi (Chris) LaDue from Oregon, Christy (Douglas) Howard from Kentucky, and Brigitta, Katrina, Trenton (Julie), Katrina, and Darren of California; along with several great-great nieces and nephews in Tennessee, Oregon, Kentucky and California. 

She was loved by many and will be greatly missed. There is a new singer in Heaven’s choir.

A memorial celebration will be held Saturday, April 23, 2022, at the Rainier Senior Center, 108 Michigan St. S., Rainier, Washington. Service begins at 11:30 a.m., with music and potluck to follow.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to one of the following organizations that Callie supported throughout the years: St Jude Children’s Research Hospital or Olympia Union Gospel Mission. 

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