EDWARD KEITH WATSON

At the age of 88, Keith passed away peacefully, with his family at his side, on Thursday, June 6, 2013 at La Verendrye Hospital in Fort Frances, Ont.
Left to mourn are his wife, Ellen, of 66 years; daughter, Doris (Rene) Pelletier; son, Grant (Emily) Watson; daughter, Gwenn (Dan) Amorde; and daughter, Johanna (Bill) Renn.
Also surviving are nine grandchildren, Lianne and George Castellan, Tanya (Niko) Apostolopoulos, Carrie (Derek) Clark, Amanda (Ray Indian) Watson, and Andrew (Leslie Bell) Watson; step-granddaughters, Allison (David) Blake, and Jennifer (Colin) LeBlanc and Jonas Watson; 13 great-grandchildren; three great-great-grandchildren; one remaining sibling, Patricia Ash; and numerous nieces and nephews.
He was predeceased by his parents, Gilbert and Elinora Watson; five brothers, Gilbert, Leslie, Clarence, Melvin, and Gordon; two sisters, Hazel Pheiffer and Mildred Moran; daughter, Diane Pettit; and granddaughter, Nicolle Pelletier.
Keith was born June 24, 1924 and raised in Fort Frances. After graduating from school, he found work herding farm animals as a “cow hand” by use of horse, cowboy style, which left a lasting impression and a fondness for all things cowboy.
Prior to enlisting in the army, he worked in the shipyards at Collingwood, Ont. as a welder and blacksmith. He held various jobs, including bridgeman and metal worker in the CNR.
Keith enlisted in the army in June, 1942 with the Royal Canadian Engineers as a corporal and served in the Second World War for the United Kingdom, in Germany, France, and Holland, until he was discharged Jan. 21,1945.
The Engineers were responsible for the demolition or reconstructing “Bailey” bridges to thwart the enemy. He received the 1939-1945 Star, Canadian Volunteer Service Medal, France and Germany Star, Clasp.
Upon arriving in England by boat, he developed a severe case of scarlet fever, which left him with a hearing loss.
Keith and Ellen were married in 1946, when they put down roots and started their family and lives together. His first jobs were varied, from a blacksmith for Wallace Wolseley to a truck driver and a welder for Maffey’s as a boat builder.
His experiences working as a welder landed him a job at the Fort Frances pulp and paper mill from 1947-75, when he retired due to many back surgeries over the years.
His many interests as a young father were coaching baseball and hockey. His love of music, especially Bluegrass, was the epitome of his life when he met Bill Monroe while on a trip to Nashville, with Ellen and daughter, Gwenn.
He loved the outdoors, fished and hunted. His later years would find him standing in his garden at 6 a.m., hoe propped under his arm, waving to the townspeople on their way to work, then back out to garden at 5 p.m. to wave them on home.
He always will be remembered for his love of laughter, jokes, and stories, and his sense of humour and the ability to have a positive attitude; as well as the Cribbage games every morning with Ellen to start the day. 
A celebration of life will be held Friday, June 14, 2013 from 2-4 p.m. at the Fort Frances Royal Canadian Legion, 250 Church St., with Colour Guard and “Taps.”
In lieu of flowers, in memoriam donations may be made to the charity of your choice c/o Green Funeral Home, P.O. Box 427, Fort Frances, Ont., P9A 3M8.
Online condolences may be offered at www.greenfuneralhomefortfrances.com