Dr. Brazier was the founder of Brazier Funeral Service in 1944. Dr. Brazier was an African American Pharmacist with his own pharmacy located on Railroad Avenue in Donaldsonville, Louisiana. He later purchased a Funeral Home directly accross the street fom his phamarcy from persons who were unable to maintain it. Dr. Brazier then recieved his Funeral Director's and Embalmer's license. Dr. Brazier hired Abraham Berry and Joseph R. Watson to operate the business for him as he continued to serve as the town Pharmacist.
After the retirement and death of Mr. Abraham Berry, Mr. Joseph Watson became the sole manager of the Funeral Home. As Dr. Brazier aged and retired, he gave the Funeral Home to Mr. Joseph Watson in return for many years of dedication, loyalty and service to him in his declining years. The only stipulation was that the Brazier name would remain, thereby the Funeral Home's name was changed to Brazer-Watson Funeral Home. The Funeral Home has remained in the same location for the past 74 years.
Joseph Watson, was born on April 27, 1921 in Lutcher, Louisiana to the Parantage of Handy Watson and Aldonia Washington Watson. He completed high school and began to work with his uncle, Abraham Berry in the funeral business. He then entered the United States Army and served his Country. Upon leaving the Army, he continued to work under the direction of his uncle,Abraham Berry and Dr. John Sidney Brazier at the Brazier Funeral Home in Donaldsonville, Louisiana. While working there he met his wife, Rosella Arthur Watson and they were married January 12, 1946. Mr. Watson became a licensed Funeral Director in July 1954.
Mr. Joe, as he was often called by his friends, also provided ambulance services to the black community for many years. In those days, the only hospital available was located in New Orleans, La and since many people did not have access to automobiles as it is today, he would drive those patients to Charity Hospital in New Orleans to get medical care,no matter the hour, weather or circumstance, many times not getting paid for his services. He has driven many ladies to have their babies delivered in New Orleans, since the hospital here were too expensive for them to go to. Many babies were often born in his ambulance before arriving at the hospital. He continued to provide this service for many years until the State laws changed, requiring very expensive regulations to operate a private ambulance. These laws and changes were too expensive for the small business to maintain and thereby he went out of business and the larger firms that you see today became the service of choice.
His phylosophy had been to treat everyone with the utmost of care and courtesy. He retired at the age of 80, after having a stroke and began living at Chateau D'Ville Nursing Home until his death on October 23, 2012 at the age of 91years. The business is still being operated by his oldest daughter, Janet and remains in the same location.
Janet Watson-Cloudet, was born on July 28, 1948 in Lutcher, Louisiana. She graduated from Cypress Grove High School in 1966. When asked what her plans were after high school, she chose an unusual profession for a woman in those days. She said that she wa going to be an undertaker like her daddy. Janet's father did not believe that she would persue this career and it wasn't until she had been accepted into the college of her choice that it really set in. She did follow in her father's footsteps and enrolled in Commonweath College of Science in Houston, Texas to become a Funeral Director and Embalmer. When she enrolled in the college, there were no housing facilities for women. Only men were allowed to stay on campus at that time. In order for her to attend school, she had to rent an apartment and use public transportation to and from school daily. She graduated Summa Cum Laud from a class made up of 98% men. She also had to take the State Board of Louisiana Examinaion and do one year of apprenticeship to become certified as a licensed funeral director and embalmer. Again, she scored the highest on the exam at 98%. A great accomplishment for a female in those days and in that industry. She has been licensed since she was 20 years old and has worked at Brazier-Watson Funeral Home for 45 years and is still providing the same courteous service to everyone that she comes in contact with. Ms. J,as she is often referred to, purchased the funeral home from her father at his retirement. Her reputation speaks volumns and she plans to continue serving the public in this capacity for as long as her health allows.
Brazier-Watson Funeral Home | (225) 473-4252
623 Railroad Ave., Donaldsonville, LA 70346
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