For even the most casual football fan, Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt is a household name. The NFL superstar isn’t just a perennial Pro Bowl defender, but he’s also a community leader, social and economic activist, and a regular man of the people. Everything he touches seemingly turns to gold, but it wasn’t just his younger brothers who helped make him into the person he is today. That all started with the help of his great-grandmother, Sophie Musial.
Musial was living proof that the Watt gene pool is built to last for decades. She was a regular champion of her great-grandson’s charitable causes and constantly found her way onto the Watt family’s social media channels around the centennial mark of her life. According to Watt’s social media accounts, Sophie Musial died on February 9, 2019 at an amazing 101 years old.
In his Instagram post, the 29-year-old Texans star remembered his great-grandma as a “beautiful soul” who was the “guiding light of our family for so many years.”
“Rest peacefully beautiful soul. Thank you for being the guiding light of our family for so many years. 101 years is a truly remarkable run and we are so grateful to have been able to spend the time with you that we did. I love you Great-Grandma. You will be forever missed.”Advertisement
— J.J. Watt, via Instagram
According to Musial’s obituary, she is survived by one child, seven grandchildren, 15 great-grandchildren, and four great-great-grandchildren, plus three more who will be born in 2019.
From an “infectious smile” to her “patient ear and her sharp wit,” it’s no wonder the Watt family has found so much success with such an influential role model leading the charge. In the midst of Watt raising $41.6 million in Hurricane Harvey relief funds, Musial went to her church service wearing a custom No. 99 Houston Texans jersey, both for her great-grandson and her age at the time.
J.J.’s younger brother, Los Angeles Chargers fullback Derek Watt, also shared a heartfelt post to his own Instagram account in which he says, “I wish we could play just one more game of Rummy with her and get one more of her amazing hugs too (Grandma and Great Grandma give the best hugs). I Love You Great Grandma!”
Visitation for Musial will take place at St. John the Evangelist church on Saturday, February 16. You can send flowers to the family, you can visit the Tribute Store to do so.