The Rev. Gerald Duane Watson, 90, was born Jan. 7, 1923, in Warsaw, N.Y., and died at the VA Hospital’s Hospice Care Unit in Erie on Friday, June 28, 2013.
He graduated from Intercession City, Fla., Bible College in 1951 and attended Allegheny College in Meadville in 1951. He pastored Girard Free Methodist (FM) Church in 1951; North Kingsville, Ohio FM Church from 1951 to 1962; began and pastored Ashtabula, Ohio FM Church from 1962 to 1978; Ellwood City FM Church from 1978 to 1988; traveled with his wife, Frances (Tovey), in musical evangelistic ministry from 1988 to 1990; and pastored Conneaut, Ohio FM Church (where he was additionally responsible for an extensive church sanctuary renovation project) from 1990 to 1992.
In addition to church pastoring obligations in Ashtabula, Ohio, he made Corvette body parts at Inland Container and worked for several years at True Temper. Rev. Watson was well known for his passion for “doing the Lord’s work,” comforting families in crisis, being a peacemaker and his ability to solve problems. Always having a ready laugh, he was a loving husband and father who never backed away from a challenge. He was a selfless, patient and caring man who always looked for a person’s good side, never saying an unkind word about anyone.
Gerald Watson served his country in the U.S. Army during World War II from 1943 to 1945 where he saw active duty, ranking sergeant T4 in Africa and Italy. Upon his honorary discharge he was awarded a Good Conduct Medal and the European African Middle Eastern Service Medal with four Bronze Stars for meritorious service during battles fought in Naples-Foggia, Rome-Arno, Northern Apennines and the Po Valley.
Gerald Watson is survived by his wife of 66 years, Frances (nee Tovey); daughter Darlene Jordan (Dan, deceased) of Upland, Ind.; daughter Carol and her husband, Joe, Klinehamer of Bratenahl, Ohio; son Ray of Leesburg, Fla.; brother John Wesley Watson of Conneaut, Ohio; six grandchildren, Jill, Eric, Michele, Marc, Chad and Heather; five great-grandchildren, Jacob, Madelynn, Jackson, Sevastian and Maizy; and Dennis Ullery, longtime family confidant.
Rev. Watson was preceded in death by his parents, Milo and Ida (Dutton) Watson, and sisters Genevieve, Dorotha, Helen, Hilda and Ardis.
Public viewing will be held Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Stephen P. Mizner Funeral Home & Cremation Services Inc., 404 Chestnut St., Meadville, where the funeral will follow at 1 p.m., with the Rev. Rick Crocker officiating.
Interment with full military honors by Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2006 will take place in Roselawn Memorial Gardens, Vernon Township.
Share your condolences at miznerfuneralhome.com.