Herbert John Watson

Herbert John Watson

Herbert John Watson

1926 - 2010

Herb, 84, died peacefully of natural causes, Wednesday, May 19, 2010, at Rogue Valley Medical Center surrounded by his family. He was born on March 30, 1926, in Ann Arbor, Mich., to Herbert Victor and Elsie Mae (Hopkins) Watson, who preceded him in death. He grew up in Mich., and enjoyed many outdoor activities including racing sprint cars. He also experienced first hand the race riots in Detroit.

Herb enlisted in the Navy in 1944, and served as a motor machinist in the Asiatic Pacific Campaign on USS LCT 1423. He was honorably discharged two years later and joined up with his parents in Southern Calif., until they moved to the Rogue Valley in late 1946.

Herb worked at various trades including logger, farmer, carpenter, contractor and heavy equipment operator. He worked on several public works projects including the original Lithia Park Band Shell, the Elks Picnic Grounds, and Callahan's Lodge. During his years working for the US Forest Service, he worked at several mountain lakes building roads and campgrounds for others to enjoy. Before his retirement from the Bureau of Land Management in 1988, he was often called on to fight fires in the region. Even after his retirement he continued to actively work with heavy equipment and in the building trade until his health deteriorated in the last few years. He was not one to give up, he always had to be moving.

He had an adventuresome spirit. He flew with friends in a four seater Cessna to Mexico to go marlin fishing, took a couple of cruises to the Caribbean, attended annual golfing tournaments at Tokatee, and yearly elk hunting trips with the Nag Drywall crew until age 82. He also enjoyed a good chinese dinner at Kim's or socializing with friends at the Tally Ho. He was always there to help a friend in need and had a warmth that everyone loved.

He married Jessie Pearl Crosslin in January 1948. The union resulted in the birth of four daughters. The marriage dissolved in 1976 and he never remarried.

He was a selfless volunteer with various fraternal organizations, such as Moose, Eagles, American Legion, and was a lifetime member of the Elks. He often could be found behind the grill in the kitchen. When not volunteering he would spend time bowling, roller skating, gardening and dancing.

Herb was preceded in death by his parents and younger brother Leslie Victor. He is survived by a sister, Sharon Dudley, of Mich.; brother, Kenneth Dale Watson, of Talent; ex-wife, Jessie Deubert, of Medford; and daughters, Cindy Watson-Wood, of Medford, Linda Brown, Brenda Caddy and Sherry Routh, all of Albany, Ore. His legacy continues through five grandchildren and nine great-great grandchildren all living in the Pacific Northwest.

He would have loved donations to be made to the Medford American Legion Post 15 for their new building at 100 E. Jackson St., Medford, OR, 97501, P.O. Box 1474, Medford, OR, 97501-0109. No services or events are planned. Arrangements by Litwiller Funeral Home.

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