Cover photo for Jesse MacWatt's Obituary
Jesse MacWatt Profile Photo
1944 Jesse 2022

Jesse MacWatt

December 12, 1944 — October 20, 2022

Jesse Wilson MacWatt of Sylva, NC died on Wednesday, October 20, 2022 of natural causes. Jesse was a retired Gunnery Sergeant in the Marine Corps and true hero. He was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Medal in 1987 for the role he played in saving the lives of three people from a fire in Jacksonville, NC. (The Navy Marine Corps Medal is the highest non-combat decoration awarded for heroism by the United States Department of the Navy to members of the United States Navy and United States Marine Corps.) His last deployment was to the mortuary at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware where the remains of America’s fallen arrive. 
 He was born Jesse Wilson Watts in Florence, SC in 1944. Later in life he became interested in genealogy and legally changed his last name to MacWatt to honor his Scottish heritage. 
After retiring from the Corps, he worked for Eastern Airlines as well as the Aquatic Center in Charlotte, NC.
Jesse is survived by his spouse, Antoinette Puglisi MacWatt.  Their 2004 marriage in Sylva lovingly expanded their families. Jesse is survived by his son, Donald Jeffrey Watts (Asheville, NC), and his daughter, Wendy Gale Collier (husband Matt and sons Tanner and Karsen of Happy, Texas).
Antoinette’s family was fortunate to have Jesse as a friend and grandfather. Surviving Jesse are her son Greg Walker (wife Angie and children Sam and Sara), daughter-in-law Amy Walker (and sons Seth, and Sawyer).  Jesse was preceded in death by Amy’s husband and Antoinette’s son Jeff.  Jesse is also survived by his brother-in-law Edward Puglisi (and wife Valerie). He was loving and kind to all the people Antoinette brought to their marriage. 
Jesse’s family will be at The Appalachian Funeral Services in Sylva from 1-3pm on Monday October 24, 2022. They will be pleased if you stop by during that time to speak with them and see photos and memorabilia from Jesse’s life. Though no formal service is planned, at 3:00pm there will be a Marine Corps presence to provide a Funeral Honors Ceremony. If you would like to make a contribution in Jesse's memory, a favorite charity of his was the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. An online registry is available at: Appalachian Funeral Services of Sylva, NC is serving the family.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Jesse MacWatt, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Monday, October 24, 2022

1:00 - 3:00 pm (Eastern time)

Appalachian Funeral Services

165 Skyland Dr, Sylva, NC 28779

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