Services for Ralph Watson will be 2:00PM Saturday, July 21, 2012 in Calvary Baptist Church with Rev. Tommy Sims officiating. Burial will be in Childress Cemetery. Visitation will be Friday evening at Johnson Funeral Home from 7:00-9:00PM
Ralph Walter Watson, Childress resident from 1945 through 2010, was born on September 23, 1922, in Red River County, Texas to parents, John Henry and Evalina Nave Watson. He departed this life July 23, 2012, in Caldwell, Burleson County, Texas. Ralph was the youngest son and next to youngest child of a family of 14 children (only 9 lived to be adults). Ardice Watson Morgan (wife of the late Curtis Morgan), former Childress resident for over 65 years, is Ralph’s youngest sister. In 1935 Ralph, Orman, Ardice, Manual, and their mother had typhoid fever. All survived this deadly epidemic except for Ralph’s brother, Manual, who was just 15. Ralph went to school in Lamar County at Starksville Elementary in Morgantown Community. In 1936, Ralph, Ardice, and members of Ralph’s class went to the Texas Centennial celebration in Dallas. Ralph served in the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps) from March until October 1940. In December 1942, Ralph joined the US Army where he served in 4th Infantry, 22nd Regiment, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Platoon of Company C. Ralph served in France and Germany during WWII where he carried a Browning Automatic Rifle (BAR), and received a Purple Heart for being wounded, Good Conduct and Rifleman badges. Ralph was discharged after the War in December of 1945.
Ralph moved to Childress December 19, 1945. He began work for the Fort Worth and Denver Railroad in January 1946. On September 26, 1946, Ralph married Childress native, Bessie Jones, on horseback, at the County Fair in Childress Fair Park.
In December, 2010, Ralph moved to Deanville, Texas, to be near his sons. There he enjoyed country life spending days working in his garden and feeding his catfish in the pond behind his apartment.
Ralph and Bessie Watson were the proud parents of Darrell (CHS graduate in 1965) born in 1947 and Freddie (CHS graduate in 1969) born in 1950.
Many of Ralph’s family lived in Childress during their lifetime. This includes Ralph’s father, John Henry Watson, who died in Childress in 1954 at the age of 85. Vollie Watson, brother of Ralph, also lived in Childress during the 1950’s. The late Orman (O. H.) Watson (employee of Montgomery Wards and Norris Hardware), another of Ralph’s brothers, was a longtime Childress resident (1940’s – mid 1980’s). Some of Ralph’s nephews that lived in Childress include Bill, Arthur (Butch), and Donald Watson, sons of Vollie and Bertha Watson; Jerry, son of Orman and Georgia Watson; Calvin Morgan (1966 CHS graduate) son of Ardice and the late Curtis Morgan formerly of Childress; the late Kenneth Hulen (former Childress County Deputy Sheriff during the late 1950’s and early 1960’s), son of the late Bill and Etta Watson Hulen of Turkey. Nieces that lived in Childress include Lula Watson Love (wife of Robert Love formerly of Childress) and Marie Watson Whitley (daughters of the late Vollie and Bertha Watson). William (Bill) Watson, current resident and retired City employee, is the son of Ralph’s late brother, Delbert and wife Agnes Whitley Watson of Blossom, Texas.
Ralph retired from the District office of the Texas Highway Department in December, 1986. He also worked at the Farmers Coop gin as well as the Burlington Northern Railroad for many years. Ralph helped build the Childress Hospital during 1968 and 1969. Ralph and Bessie lived seven miles south of Childress on Highway 83 (current home of Ralph’s great nephew, Ricky Watson) for many years where he farmed and made the “First Bale” of Cotton in Childress County for five different years. Ralph was a member of the Calvary Baptist Church of Childress where he was Training Union Director and Sunday school teacher for many years.
Ralph’s wife, Bessie, preceded him in death on March 19, 1994.
Memorials may be made to Wounded Warriors.
He is survived by one sister, Ardice Watson Morgan, currently of Vernon, one sister-in-law, Georgia Cisco Watson formerly of Childress and two sons. Ralph’s oldest son, Darrell, lives in Belton with his wife Patricia Watson. Darrell’s children include Mike (wife Brandy) Watson of Georgetown, Ron (wife Samantha) Watson of Pflugerville, and Allen Watson (wife Lauren) of Caldwell. Mike and wife Brandy have 4 children (Ralph’s Great Grandchildren) Adrienne, Zach, Rebekuh and Amelia. Ralph’s youngest son, Freddie, lives in Deanville with his wife Carol.
Ralph is also survived by numerous nieces and nephews.
Nephews: Calvin Morgan of Vernon; Jerry Watson of Alto; William “Bill” Watson of Childress; Bill, Author, and Donald Watson of Plainview; Larry Williams of Colorado; and Donald Williams of Lubbock.
Nieces: Marie Watson Whitley and Lula Watson Love of Clovis, New Mexico; Betty Watson Houston of Paris; Margaret Hulen Smolenski of Texarkana; and Louise Bowman Dawson of Arlington; and Margaret Sue Watson Clarkson of Blossom, Texas.
Nephews by marriage: Steve Jones of Childress; David Jones of Springfield, Missouri; David and Danny Horton of Hurst; Vance Sims of Georgia; and Jason Sims of Quanah.
Niece by marriage: Darlene Sims Lopez of Bryan.