Howard E. WattsHoward Eugene Watts, 87, of Bemidji died on July 21, 2012 at the St. Cloud Veteran's Administration (VA) Medical Center.
Howard E. Watts
Howard Eugene Watts, 87, of Bemidji died on July 21, 2012 at the St. Cloud Veteran's Administration (VA) Medical Center.
Howard was born to Merton and Sena (Julson) Watts on January 16, 1925 at a birthing home in Park Rapids, Minnesota. He attended Vern Country Grade School and continued his education at Bemidji High School. He enlisted in the Army and served as a combat soldier during WWII in the First Infantry. He fought on Normandy all the way through the Battle of the Bulge. He was awarded a Bronze Star for meritorious service above and beyond the call of duty. He was honored with a Purple Heart for wounds received. He married Martha (Marty) Walters at the Chapel in the Pines on November 12, 1948. Howard and Marty had seven children and love and cherish each of their 38 grand and great-grandchildren. They are expecting their first great-great grandchild in October. Howard graduated from Bemidji State University with his Bachelor's Degree in Biology and continued on to receive his Master's Degree in Public School Administration from the University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, ND. Howard had an extended career as a teacher, principal and school administrator serving students and communities throughout North Dakota and Minnesota. In retirement, he worked part-time for the Mentor, Minnesota School District as their superintendent. As a teacher and superintendent he truly believed in the value of each student and inspired them to achieve at their full potential. Howard was a resident at the St. Cloud VA Medical Center for his last 4 ½ years where he continued to use his counseling talents as part of an Alternative Learning program for youth. In the summer months, the entire Watts family spent endless hours in the woods and in the lake at their cabin by the LaSalle Lakes near Becida, Minnesota. Howard enjoyed refurbishing old military weapons into hunting rifles, hunting and "just being in the woods." He took his kids fishing but spent most of his time putting on worms, taking fish off the hooks and hooks out of the kids. It takes a brave man to put seven kids in a boat.
Howard is survived by his wife, Marty; five children, Vicky (Clark), Paris, TX, Sharie (Narlock) Rice, MN, John Grand Forks, ND, Jeff, Waseca, MN and Kim (Nagle), Guthrie, MN; 36 grandchildren; his sisters Ruth Johnson, Dorothy Maleck and his brothers Clifton and Richard.
He is preceded in death by his parents; two sons, Steve and Ron; granddaughter, Michelle and grandson, Jonathon.
Funeral Services will be held at 11:00 am, Thursday, July 26, 2012 at the Bethel Lutheran Church in Bemidji, MN with Rev. Mike Fiske officiating.
A visitation will be held from 6-8:00 pm, Wednesday, July 25, 2012, at the Cease Family Funeral Home of Bemidji and one hour before the service at the church.
Interment will be at the Calvary Cemetery in Bemidji under the direction of the Cease Family Funeral Home of Bemidji.
Messages of condolence may be left at ceasefuneralhome.com