After a courageous battle with cancer, with his family by his side, William “Bill” Watts passed away Friday, June 4, 2010 at the Emo Health Centre in Emo, Ont. at the age of 79.
Bill was born in Mather Township, Ont. on Oct. 30, 1930 to the late George and Bertha Watts. He was united in marriage to Beverly Robinson on March 1, 1960 and together they raised four children.
Dad was a cherished husband, father, grandfather, brother, and friend. He was born, raised, and resided on the same family homestead his entire life.
He worked his whole career in Rainy River District, and was very well-known in the community with his Watts Sand & Gravel trucks and equipment supplying gravel for laneways, septic fields, and basements.
He was a hard worker and very dedicated to his trade. Many days he worked 18-20 hours just to complete the day’s tasks.
There wasn’t a piece of equipment he couldn’t operate from trucks to loaders, backhoes, draglines, bulldozers, and graders. His innovative ability and mechanical expertise was utilized by many throughout the area.
If you had a difficult problem, Dad could fix it.
Dad started to work early in life, working on the family farm and trapping minnows with his father. He later purchased his own equipment and did sub-contract work for various businesses around the district.
Always an entrepreneur at heart, he expanded his own business, venturing into logging, bulldozing, rock-crushing, and road construction.
In 1977, after a construction accident, he retired from his construction business to start a hobby farm, which quickly grew to a full-time occupation. After selling the livestock, he and Mom redirected their efforts into restoring and refurbishing antique wood cookstoves.
Watts Wood-burning Cookstoves Company was able to sell their finished products throughout Canada and the U.S.
Mom and Dad enjoyed some leisure time in their motor home, and particularly enjoyed their trips with friends to B.C. and Alaska. Weekend getaways with family to Morris, Austin, and local parks and campgrounds are something we always will remember.
Saturdays were always Dad’s favourite day of the week–auction sale day. He always was first to arrive at the sale—sometimes ahead of the auctioneer—and always held bidder #1.
If he wasn’t placing a bid, he was socializing and telling stories. He had a story for every occasion.
Hunting was always a large part of Dad’s life. In the early years, he was an avid hunter, and in the later years, he guided a number of hunting parties who enjoyed the stories and a cup of coffee with Mom and Dad.
Dad always had high expectations of himself and those around him. His dedication and honesty were important traits, which he instilled in all his children and grandchildren. Providing a good home for his family was always utmost in his mind.
In later years, he was able to appreciate and spend time with his children and grandchildren to watch them grow and mature.
Dad touched many lives in many different ways, and he will be forever remembered.
He will be lovingly remembered by his daughter, Debbie Williamson of Fort Frances, Ont.; sons, Kevin (Cheryl) of Fort Frances, Ont. and Greg (Melanie) of Brantford, Ont.; and special friend, Wanda Jodoin of Pinewood, Ont.
He will be sadly missed by his grandchildren, Kristen Williamson (Mike), Janelle Williamson, Jeff, Heather (Brad), Trent, and Hailey Watts, Becky (Martin) Austin, and Melissa Watts (Chuck); and great-grandchildren, Taylor, Mackenzie, and Olivia Austin, Payton Broesky, Corey and Charlie Watts, and expected new arrivals in June and November.
Bill also is survived by his sister, Marie (Stan) Bates of Atikokan, Ont.; and several nieces and nephews.
Bill was predeceased by his wife of 48 years, Bev, in 2008; son, Edward in 1998; and parents, Bertha in 1979 and George in 1989.
Family and friends will be received Tuesday, June 8, 2010 from 7-9 p.m. at the Northridge Funeral Home in Emo.
Funeral services will be held Wednesday, June 9, 2010 at 11 a.m. at Northridge Funeral Home, with Pastor Joe Orr officiating.
Interment will take place in Barwick Cemetery.
The pallbearers will be George Bates, Ed Eder, Dennis Robinson, and Don Huitikka.
In memoriam donations may be made to the Tamarack House c/o Northridge Funeral Home, P.O. Box 89, Emo, Ont., P0W 1E0.
Online condolences may be offered at www.northridgefuneralhome.com