Mr. Watts was used to making sacrifices to achieve the success he knew he was capable of in life. His father died when he was 12 years old, so he and his brother James took odd jobs to provide for their family.
Mr. Watts accepted a scholarship to play football at the University of Chattanooga, until he was called to serve his country in World War II. There he served under General Patton and fought at the Battle of the Bulge, D-Day and many other battles.
When he returned from the war, he started a trucking business, delivering freight for the L&N Railroad. He also acquired some excavation equipment when a man he had hired to build a lake went bankrupt before finishing. So, Mr. Watts took the equipment and finished the job himself.
In 1951, Watts Excavating Company was formed. In addition to building lakes, the company performed land reclamation and grading. Four years later, he purchased a cold mix plant and a sand plant and began paving parking lots and driveways, as well as selling sand and gravel.
In 1960, Mr. Watts started doing contracts with the Alabama Highway Department, and seven years later, he added a new corporation — Watts Materials Company, selling granite to contractors for state highway work. In 1978, the two companies combined to become Charles E. Watts, Inc.
Mr. Watts loved the Alabama Road Builders Association and valued the friendship of its members. He loved telling jokes and his experiences. He had a gift for telling a story and enjoyed life.