‘She’s going to be deeply missed:’ McDonald’s helps hit-and-run victim’s family with fundraiser

Published: Mar. 21, 2023 at 6:25 PM CDT
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ST. LOUIS COUNTY (KMOV) - Family and colleagues describe 61-year-old Willetter Anderson-Watson as a rare soul.

“One thing about smile, she did not miss work,” said Veronica Green, one of Anderson-Watson’s best friends.

“She was an amazing person. She was one in a million,” said Mary Newberry. “She made everybody smile. She was our bright light.”

It was her bright light that shined the Mcdonald’s off North Lindbergh Boulevard in Hazelwood each day she went to work there for the past year, and where she built a family among other Mcdonald’s employees.

“She’s going to be deeply missed,” said Newberry, the general manager at the Mcdonald’s where Anderson-Watson worked.

“There’s no words to express now that she’s not here,” said Green.

Anderson-Watson was struck and killed on March 8 while crossing the intersection at South Florissant and Woodstock Road in Ferguson.

Two drivers, first a Volkswagen and then a maroon SUV, hit her while she was walking across the intersection to catch the bus to work.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol told News 4 that the driver of the maroon SUV still has not been caught after running her over.

“I was picking up the phone and trying to call her, and I mean, it was just horrible,” said Newberry. “Calling all my managers to let them know. [We] couldn’t believe it.”

After the tragedy, the Mcdonald’s community is now paying it forward to the woman they call “smiley.”

“She’d go on break and go over and buy everybody stuff from the gas station. We didn’t even ask her. She’d just go and bring us all kinds of goodies. She’d come with handfuls of candy and share it with everybody,” said Newberry. “She made that impact, touched everybody’s hearts, man. She took a little piece of me with it, that’s for sure.”

Ten percent of all sales between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Tuesday at the North Lindbergh Boulevard Mcdonald’s and five other North County locations went towards helping the Anderson-Watson family with death expenses.

“We’re thankful,” said Herman Anderson, her brother. “She would be smiling. She would be smiling, and she would be overwhelmed just to know that someone would take the time to do something like this.”

Herman and her friends say support like this feeds their determination for justice.

“I just wish that the person can find some kind of compassion,” said Marjorie Jackson, Anderson-Watson’s friend. “I don’t care if you just have a little ounce. Turn yourself in.”