ROANOKE RAPIDS — Edith Hortense Watkins Dickens, 82, of Roanoke Rapids, passed away Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021, surrounded by her loving family. Hortense was born in Wake County to the late Daucy and Lois Horne Watkins. She was also preceded in death by her sister, Betty Newton; infant brother, Elton Watkins; and grandson, Joshua Dickens.

Hortense attended Roanoke Rapids High School and then married the love of her life, Perry Dickens. She was a dedicated wife, mother, “grama” and “great-grama” to her family, and a woman of many talents. As a seamstress, she clothed her family with her loving creations, even making a wedding dress or two. She shared a love of singing with her family and her church. Over the years, she often visited church shut-ins, taking them her homemade soup on occasion. Christmas was a joyous time with family, as they celebrated with their favorite foods and Mama’s famous tablecloth — signed yearly by all in attendance. She also had a special multi-layered chocolate cake so that the great-grandchildren could enjoy while singing happy birthday to Jesus. These and other countless traditions and memories will live on in her children and their children. She was truly a Proverbs 31 woman. She and Perry were charter members of Lake View Park Baptist Church and later members of Victory Baptist Church.

Hortense is survived by her loving husband of 65 years, Perry Dickens; her daughters, Cindy Powell and her husband, Ronnie, Susan Vick and her husband, Hubert, and Debra Prince and her husband, Melvin Jr.; her sons, Elton Dickens and his wife, Gwen, and Craig Dickens and his wife, Kim; 12 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren, with one more on the way. She was also blessed to have a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends, and a special lifelong friend, Margaret True.

A private memorial service will be held.

In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting donations be made to The National Fibromyalgia Association, 3857 Birch St., Suite 312, Newport Beach, CA 92660 or to Victory Christian Academy, 2360 Bolling Road, Roanoke Rapids, NC 27870.

Online condolences may be made to the family at wrennclarke