George Alton Watts passed away peacefully on June 28th, 2014. Born on January 5, 1922, he lived a life full of artistic interests and loving relationships. George was born in Port Arthur, Texas at home. He was the fourth child of five children. He had many adventures in that small town including riding his bicycle with a childhood friend to Beaumont at the young age of nine. He left Port Arthur to go to San Antonio to enter St. Mary's College. In short order he transferred to The University of Texas at Austin to study chemical engineering. At the start of World War II, George joined the Air Force and successfully developed the...
George Alton Watts passed away peacefully on June 28th, 2014. Born on January 5, 1922, he lived a life full of artistic interests and loving relationships. George was born in Port Arthur, Texas at home. He was the fourth child of five children. He had many adventures in that small town including riding his bicycle with a childhood friend to Beaumont at the young age of nine. He left Port Arthur to go to San Antonio to enter St. Mary's College. In short order he transferred to The University of Texas at Austin to study chemical engineering. At the start of World War II, George joined the Air Force and successfully developed the skill and the love of flying. After several transfers, Lieutenant Watts was stationed in Harlingen Texas and his flight skills determined his assignment as a flight instructor for the remainder of the war. It was in Harlingen that he met then married Clara Anne Stanley on October 20th, 1945.
Although George loved flying, and considered to be a pilot after the war, Anne, concerned for his safety, convinced George to go back to The University of Texas to complete his chemical engineering degree. Anne supported this decision through her work as a secretary. George was hired by Gulf Oil and the Watts family settled in Port Arthur. Great friendships were forged which contributed to a life-long hobby of work working. Mac Sutton, their neighbor, introduced this skill and together they built many pieces of furniture that still remain in the family home.
Anne and George were blessed with two beautiful daughters, Georgia Leigh and Geralyn Elizabeth. With Gulf Oil, the family was transferred several times including locations in Pennsylvania and Tokyo, Japan. But eventually, the family settled back in Texas, and Houston became home. George's hobby of work working expanded to ever more intricate and complex designs and his hobbies grew to include artistic photography. He joined the photography club in Houston, and his sense of design defined comparative collections of themes such as church steeples, the bicentennial fire hydrants, fields of flowers, and triple bloom roses. George also collected movies. He assembled a complete history of movies which have won the academy awards – beginning with the first one, "Wings," in 1928.
Anne died in 1986. George was resolute to stay busy, and several months after Anne's death, he drove down to Port Arthur for a high school reunion. There he reacquainted with many old friends, including Geraldine Smith. Geraldine had been widowed for many years, and as they both lived in Houston, an easy companionship developed which led to a very happy second marriage of 22 years. He and Gerri traveled throughout the world including several visits to George's daughter Gerry in Singapore and Dubai, and to Leigh in Denver. George also turned back to his love of flying and renewed his license in 1992. This passion led to more very special friendships at the Houston Wing of the Commemorative Air Force - West Squadron. During the war, George's favorite planes were the B26 and P63 Fighters. But upon his renewal of flying, he was able to appreciate the open cockpit and fly through the clouds. The B13 was a favorite flight experience and George shared his exhilaration with plane flights with all of the family. George continued to fly until the age of 85, but he did not stop sharing his knowledge of flying history and personal experience through his volunteer work at the West Squadron Museum in West Houston.
George was also a very devout Catholic and he was active in the Catholic Church and volunteered as a deacon at St. Jerome's. George A. Watts was a soft spoken gentleman in every regard. His interests and his genuine care for others made him many life- long friends. He loved "his girls" (reference daughters and two wives), and loved deeply his grandchildren and many others. He will be remembered and missed always.
Family and friends gathered to share memories of George's life at a visitation in the chapel of Waltrip Funeral Directors, 1415 Campbell Road in Houston, from 3:00 until 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, July 1, 2014, where the Rosary, led by Deacon Dan O'Dowd, was recited at 4:00 p.m.
The Funeral Liturgy was held in the sanctuary of St. Jerome Catholic Church, 8825 Kempwood Drive in Houston, at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, July 2, with Reverend Monsignor Dan Scheel as celebrant. Following a brief reception at the church, the Rite of Committal followed at Memorial Oaks Cemetery, 13001 Katy Freeway, also in Houston, at 1:00 p.m., where military honors were rendered by the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8790 Honor Guard, and the Houston Wing of the Commemorative Air Force – West Squadron.
In lieu of flowers, the family asked that memorial contributions be directed to a charity of your choice.