Richard B. Watson "Dick"
Richard Burnell Watson, 71, passed away peacefully April 26, 2013 with his family by his side in Danville, CA. He was born on December 13, 1941 in Chatsworth, IL, the son of Burnell and Ruth Watson.
Dick grew up in a family of five children in the small town of Chatsworth, IL. He earned his civil engineering degree at the University of Illinois in 1965. After graduation he moved to California where he met his sweetheart, Marilyn Easter. They were married in Santa Maria, CA on June 22, 1968 and moved to Visalia where they raised three children. He worked for W.M. Lyles Company for 37 years, loved his work, and enjoyed the people with whom he worked.
Dick had an infectious zest for life and he never missed a chance to joke. He dearly loved his family, grandchildren, and friends and he had a knack for making everyone around him feel good about themselves. He recently celebrated his 50th year as a private pilot. He had a lifelong passion for trains and was an avid golfer. In his retirement, Dick and Marilyn enjoyed travelling with family and friends and visiting grandchildren.
Dick was an active member of the Visalia community through the years. He was a parishioner of St. Mary's Catholic Church in Visalia and was active in the Visalia Rotary Club, Visalia YMCA, the Tulare County Library Foundation, the Santa Teresita Youth Community Center in Three Rivers and numerous other organizations. He was also a member of the AOPA pilot association and the American Rail Car Association.
He is survived by his loving wife and partner, Marilyn Watson, their three children and spouses: Kim and Rob Hensley, Kevin and Julie Watson, and Debbie and Scott Rumsey. He has seven grandchildren who adore him -- Ellie, Maggie, and Jake Hensley; Grant and Lauren Watson, and Nate and Katie Rumsey. He is also survived by his siblings Pat Haskins, Ruth Bazzell, Cletus Watson, Theresa Watson, numerous nieces and nephews, and more than a few golf buddies.
Visitation will begin at 3 pm on Wednesday May 1, 2013 at Miller Memorial Chapel (1120 W. Goshen Ave., Visalia, CA) with scripture readings and tributes at 6 pm. Funeral mass will be held on Thursday, May 2, 2013 at 10:30 am at St. Mary's Catholic Church (608 N. Church Street, Visalia, CA) with interment following at Visalia District Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Visalia Community Rotary Foundation, 1220 W. Center Ave., Visalia, CA 93291, the Santa Teresita Youth Conference Center, P.O. Box 249, Three Rivers, CA 93271 or the Tulare County Library Foundation, 200 W. Oak Avenue, Visalia, CA 93291.
Tributes and condolences may be made at www.millerchapel.com.
Arrangements entrusted to Miller Memorial Chapel, 1120 W. Goshen Avenue, Visalia, CA 93291 (559) 732-8371.