Yin Yin Lam Watson

Yin Watson Obit Image Final

“Bursting with joy” and an abundance of peace, our sweet Mama Yin is now “dancing for the audience of One”.  Mama Yin reached out and took Jesus’ hand in the early morning hours on Friday, July 16, surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses and her beloved family.

Yin Yin Lam Watson was born in Ipoh, Malaysia, on February 1, 1947; to Soo Fat and Siew Lin (Amelia) Lam.  Yin was raised in Malaysia with her older sister Esther and David.  It was in Malaysia as a young girl where she learned all about Jesus and what it means to walk with Him.  Southern Baptist missionaries shared the love of Christ in her church and she accepted Him as her Lord and Savior. In 1968, Yin left Malaysia and traveled to the small town of Bolivar, Missouri, where she began her college studies at Southwest Baptist University.  It was that cool fall semester when Yin met her future husband, Jesse Watson.  The story goes, he begged friends for money to help buy this little Chinese girl a coat.  Jesse and Yin married the day they graduated from SBU on May 21, 1971.  After attending graduate school at Baylor University, she and Jesse moved to Spartanburg, South Carolina where Ashley was born in 1977.  Three years later they moved to Gainesville, Georgia, where Travis and Troy were born in 1980.  Jesse and Yin made their last big move in the spring of 1981 when they returned to Bolivar, Missouri, where they settled and planted life-long roots. That fall, Yin began her career with the Bolivar Center for the Developmentally Disabled within the Bolivar R-1 School District.  For 31 years “Miss Yin” was a phenomenal special needs teacher who worked with children of all ages with varying degrees of disabilities.  In 1986, Jesse and Yin had a little surprise!  They welcomed Price to the Watson clan.  A couple of years later, Jesse and Yin built their final home on what they named Watson Ranch.  There, she and Jesse along with their four children worked and ran a cattle operation.  Yin also partnered with her husband in his consulting business.  She has been a member of First Baptist Church of Bolivar from the time she and Jesse moved back to Bolivar.  She has a servant’s heart and has dedicated much of her gifts and talents to those whom she has served and ministered.  For the last several years, she has taught the Mary Martha Sunday School class and would speak fondly of the many friendships she built with “her wonderful ladies”.  Since her husband’s passing in 2004 and her retiring from teaching in 2012, it seemed Yin kept herself just as busy as when she was teaching and raising her four children.  She took advantage of her retirement years and traveled the world with her sister Esther and her husband Steven, and her late brother David and his wife Jessie. You could be sure to find her at the CMH Senior Health Center where she volunteered and exercised, or at her church where she served and worshipped.  But her most cherished and favorite thing to do was run around on the farm and play with her six beloved grandchildren.  Grandma Yin referred to her grandchildren as “My Bouquet.” One of her last joyful expressions of love when looking upon her beloved grandchildren was, “all of my flowers are blooming!”  Yin Watson was not only a rock of faithfulness to her family, but she was also a testament to her community.  In her 74 years, she has no doubt left an impact on the countless lives she has touched, not just in her small town of Bolivar, but also to many across the United States and around the world.  As one of His most trusted and faithful servants, our mama was sure to remind us to remember who God is and to always trust in Him.  We are not to forget who we are in Christ and because she knows she is a child of God and is forever present in His glory, she is now in “quiet solitude and peaceful rest.” 


Yin Watson is survived by her sister Esther and brother-in-law Steven Chang, nephew Paul Chang and wife Jo, nieces Sharon Chang and husband Paul, and Ruth Chang, all of Perth, Australia; sister-in-law Jessie Lam of Dong Guan, China; daughter Ashley and son-in-law Chris Menefee, and granddaughter Alexa of Springfield, Missouri; son Travis and daughter-in-law Ashlea, and grandsons Keegan and Baylor of Bolivar, Missouri; son Troy and daughter-in-law Sarah, and grandson Trey and granddaughter Shaylee of Bolivar, Missouri; son Price and daughter-in-law Whitney, and granddaughter Kinsley of Bolivar, Missouri.  She is preceded in death by her husband Jesse; parents Soo Fat and Siew (Amelia) Lin Lam; and her brother, David Lam.  

As an expression of sympathy and celebration, please consider memorial contributions to a charitable foundation or group of your choice; or you may consider one of the following:  First Baptist Church in Bolivar, MO; Alpha House Pregnancy Resource Center in Bolivar, MO; Polk County Christian School in Bolivar, MO; New Covenant Academy in Springfield, MO; or St. Luke’s Hospice House in Kansas City, MO.


A private Celebration of Life service will be held for the family in her honor.



  1. Brenda Fuhrman on July 21, 2021 at 9:19 pm

    Your mother blessed and made such a difference in the lives of so many people, especially the ladies in the Sunday School class she taught and ministered, many women of our church, her students, those who came to the senior center, and many friends. Yin was my Sunday School teacher and friend. She put her trust in Jesus, and lived out her faith and shared Gods truth to all she met.
    Ashley, My heart goes out to you and your family in the loss of Mama and Grandma Yin. She delighted in her grandchildren and would often talk about them and share pictures.

  2. Chara Seow on July 21, 2021 at 7:07 am

    Deepest condolences, I have fond memories of visiting Aunty Dot and your family in the US. I still remember the beautiful farm and the delicious hot and sour soup she brought us to eat. She was an amazing woman with a wonderful life lived and is celebrating in heaven watching us all.

  3. David Franklin Watson on July 21, 2021 at 12:58 am

    Dear Ashley, Such a Beautiful tribute to your mom. you all know she was so proud of you all and all of the grand kids to. My thoughts and Prayers are still with you all.

  4. Jane Siebert on July 20, 2021 at 12:10 pm

    Ashley, I am so sorry to hear about your mothers passing. What a beautiful tribute you have written about your mother. She was quite a lady and a blessing to so many people in the Bolivar community I still remember the first time I met you and your parents when you moved to Bolivar and your dad was working at SBU. I remember thinking how cute and tiny your mom was! In my mind, I can still see your mom and later her parents sitting upstairs in the balcony at the First Baptist Church. Your mom always had a smile on her face and happy disposition.It was so fun to give her hugs !! I know you will truly miss her. She was a special mom and grandmother. Please know that I will be thinking about and praying for you and your brothers during this difficult time.

  5. Leta Matthews Gass on July 20, 2021 at 10:28 am

    Yin will always hold a special place in the hearts of so many. She was such a delight to know. She always had a smile and took the time to listen. I am so blessed to have known this sweet, sweet lady – as a colleague, as a parent to my students (Troy and Travis), as a friend and as a sister in Christ. My heartfelt thoughts and sympathies to her family.

  6. Linda Underwood on July 20, 2021 at 9:06 am

    Ashley, your mother was a beautiful testimony of life and love. And what a beautiful smile, just like her daughter. Her legacy is a beautiful expression seen in both her children and grandchildren. She will be missed by all who knew her, but heaven is rejoicing with Mama Yin. May you continue to experience the peace and comfort that Holy Spirit brings. You are in our thoughts and prayers. Much love to you, Alexa and Chris.

  7. Royce slagle on July 20, 2021 at 6:58 am

    Yin w
    Is a wonderful woman. I got to know her thru school and our children. Sports and her love for God. She will be missed God bless all 9f her famiky prayers. Royce slagle (mama toad)

  8. Bobby & Dorothy D Evans on July 19, 2021 at 10:21 pm

    We knew the whole family back in Malaysia and grieve with all of you in the loss of Dot. She was a precious soul. Praise God she is with Him now, rejoicing in our Savior’s presence! Our prayers are with you for comfort now and trust in the living hope available through Jesus Christ for eternity.

  9. Sherryl Bethel on July 19, 2021 at 8:28 pm

    Ashley, Travis, Troy, and Price.
    My heart hurts for all of you.
    I am blessed for the years I had your Mom.
    I was so blessed to have her as a Sunday school teacher at the church.
    I will always cherish the memories I have of her. We are so blessed to of had her in our family. I will miss her dearly. But I know I will she her again. I love all four of you.
    My prayers are with all of you at this time.
    Love you all. Your cousin, Sherryl

  10. Marianne Beck on July 19, 2021 at 7:48 pm

    Yin was such a beautiful soul and will be a welcomed addition to all God’s angels in heaven! We will miss her loving spirit here! Love to your family.

  11. Arlene Palmer on July 19, 2021 at 7:27 pm

    Yin was a true example of a follower of Christ. She always had a smile and sweet spirit, she will be greatly missed! She was so proud of those grandchildren and love sharing pictures of them.

  12. Regina on July 19, 2021 at 7:13 pm

    Beautiful tribute for a beautiful life.
    Our condolences.

  13. Angie Gries on July 19, 2021 at 7:04 pm

    Oh Yin I will miss you dearly. You were the strongest women I have known. I will miss you going to eat with us and trying to teach me and Joe how to use chopsticks and seeing you drive through town in your little pickup. There are so many memories…all the way back to when I first met you when Price was in 5th grade. I will be praying for your family and friends as they grieve and resting assured that you are in a beautiful place and at eternal peace..

  14. Magda Neill on July 19, 2021 at 6:32 pm

    Yin was a senior when I was a freshman at SWBC. I remember seeing her around campus think was a cute, spunky gal she was. Later, I enjoyed having her as a colleague while teaching in Bolivar. I always admired her for speaking out her Christian convictions in First Baptist Church meetings and also for they various ways she served in our church. Yin was a lovely lady and will be greatly missed by all who loved her..
    Our deepest sympathy and prayers for peace.
    Magda and Joe Neill

  15. Julie Alba on July 19, 2021 at 3:26 pm

    Oh, Ashley. This is such a beautiful tribute to your sweet mama. She was truly a beautiful testimony to faith in and obedience to our Lord Jesus. May God lovingly gather your family in His arms and give you the comfort and peace that can only come from Him.

  16. Jacquelynn on July 19, 2021 at 3:04 pm

    I did not know your mother, but because you are part of her, I know she had to be lovely! What a beautiful tribute that you wrote about her! I am
    So happy that you have so many wonderful memories to hold on to until that glorious day when you will
    be reunited! My prayers, hugs, and thoughts are with you and your family during this time. Your mother is with you always, because you take a part of her wherever you go! Peace and comfort to you sweet friend.

  17. Delana Reynolds on July 19, 2021 at 12:58 pm

    I remember meeting your precious mother here one day at NCA. What a lovely little lady! I know she was so proud of her family, especially her blooming bouquet. Heaven grows sweeter everyday.

  18. Sharon Pruett on July 19, 2021 at 12:41 pm

    What a beautiful tribute to your mom and the legacy she leaves in her children and grandchildren. I will miss seeing her in the parking lot picking up Alexa occasionally! Our prayers are with your family is this tough time of loss.

  19. Kay Cook on July 19, 2021 at 12:37 pm

    Yin radiated the love of Jesus. Her bright smile and encouraging words were a highlight to my days. She loved people and showed her appreciation in countless ways. She will be missed by all that knew her. We know that she is with our Lord Jesus! Our comfort is that we will see her again someday!

  20. Glenda Scott on July 19, 2021 at 12:25 pm

    She had such a beautiful life of love and faithfulness to the Lord and her family. All of an NCA will miss seeing your sweet smile around our school. We are sending our thoughts and prayers and love to the family during this great loss. God bless you all.

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