December 28, 1951 - December 9, 1998
Mrs. Juanita Watson Smith, affectionately known as Nito, was born in Harrisonburg, Louisiana, on December 28, 1951, to the parents of Ernest ' Black' Watson and Alice Lee Watson. Juanita was the eighth of ten children.
Juanita was educated in the public school of Catahoula parish. She graduated from Harrisonburg High School as an honor student. In 1969, she was the first to go to college in her family. It required an entire family effort from the small town of Harrisonburg to send Juanita to college, which paved the way for her other siblings, niece, and nephews to attend college.
Juanita was a waymarker becoming one of the first black female tellers at a popular bank. She then became one of the first women employed at Exxon-Mobil, working as an instrument tech. She held this position until 1983, when she experienced a brain aneurysm, and thereafter retired.
Juanita had a wonderful loving spirit. She loved the Lord, her family, friends, and neighbors. She had a passion for learning different cultures, traveling, and trying new foods. She always ensured that her family learned as they traveled, visited museums, libraries, and other monuments.