Terry Lee Watts was born August 23, 1969. He graduated from Northside High School and earned a bachelor’s degree in fire science from Waldorf University. Watts began his career in firefighting as a reserve in Arlington Fire Department. He served at various fire departments, including Horne Lake Fire Department, where he served part-time, and Jackson Fire Department, before joining the Shelby County Fire Department in 2006. During his career with Shelby County, he obtained Instructor I, Fire Officer I-IV, and several other certifications. He served as NAFI member, HAZMAT technician, advanced emergency medical technician, vice president and grievance chairperson for IAFF Local 2585. He also served as code enforcement, deputy chief, and fire chief in Mason, Tennessee. Watts was employed part-time with Eagle Medical Center and Methodist University Hospital.
In addition to his love for firefighting, Terry Watts enjoyed spending time with his family, martial arts, and music, and he always endeavored to remain true to family values of the highest order. Terry Watts was the proud husband of Gwenise Watts, with whom he shared 21 beautiful years of marriage. He was the proud father of four children and the doting grandfather of six grandchildren. He leaves behind an indelible legacy and probity in public life, compassion and loyalty in private life, and diligence and dedication in all his chosen endeavors. It is fitting that we should remember the bountiful life of this exceptional public servant and human being.
Submitted by his wife
Sam was a dedicated friend to his fellow firefighter‚ a beloved father‚ and adored by his wife. Sam died July 21‚ 2003‚ while during an overtime day at County Station 63. Sam was 50 years old at the time of this death.
Sam was born in Henning‚ Tennessee‚ where he was the 11th child of 12 children born to the late Pauline and Joe Green.
Sam was a Private with the Shelby County Fire Department for 23 years and planned to retire in two more years. During his tenure he was awarded numerous service awards. He was a faithful contributor to United Way Charities. Sam was a dedicated and loyal fire fighter who loved his job and co-workers. On May‚ 13‚ 2004‚ which was Sam birthday‚ a Pumper Dedication Ceremony was held at County Station 64 in Millington‚ Tennessee. This was where Sam first started his employment as a Shelby County Firefighter. At this ceremony a pumper was dedicated in his name.
Sam was the first Shelby County Firefighter to died while on duty. Sam really loved fire fighting and this pumper was dedicated in his memory and it was said that everytime a fire call comes to Station 64‚ he will roll out with the other fire fighter. There was also a memory book signed by some of his fellow firefighters and I would like to quote some of the comments. One firefighter said‚ ‘Sam was a real joy to work with. I came through fire school with Sam and worked with him for many years‚ he was always a joy to work with. I miss him.’ Another fire fighter says‚ ‘Sam lives on!’
There was also a Certificate of Appreciation presented in recognition of a career of dedication and services to the Shelby County Fire Department for 23 years of services by the Shelby County Mayor‚ A. C. Wharton‚ Jr.
Sam loved his family and he was admired by his beloved wife‚ Margie‚ his adoring daughters‚ Spanisha and Jessica‚ his stepdaughter‚ Kimberly Leggins‚ his stepson‚ Kenneth (Wanda) Dalton‚ his grandchildren‚ Diamond‚ Kierra‚ Martavius‚ Kenneth‚ Jr.‚ KenTesha and Kenya‚ his sisters‚ Louise‚ (Jessie) Halliburton‚ Geraldine (Spencer) Morgan‚ Mary M. Johnson‚ Josie (John L.) Walker‚ Diane Green‚ Rosie Mae (Levi) Morgan‚ Frankie B. Gwynne‚ and his one brother Joe Green‚ Jr. His sister -in-laws‚ Janice (Irwin) Guada and Annie Mccoy‚ one brother-in-law‚ Robert (Rosie) McCoy. Samuel L. Green will be greatly missed by his family‚ friends‚ and fellow fire fighter.