2012-12-13 / Obituaries

David H. Watson

David Henderson Watson, retired Northwest Airlines sales manager and former resident of Manistique, Mich., died Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, Nov. 22, 2012, at the Spokane Veterans Home, in Spokane, Wash. He died of complications from lung cancer at the age of 82.

Dave was born May 15, 1930, in Milwaukee, Wis., son of Russell and Evelyn (Culver) Watson, long-time residents of Manistique. Raised in Manistique, he graduated from Manistique High School in 1948. His love of athletics carried him into his 70’s as a distance runner, tennis player and avid water ski racer. While in high school, Dave lettered in football, basketball, and track.

He graduated from the University of Michigan, where he was a member of the Sigma Chi Fraternity, with a degree in philosophy and interrupted his studies to join the Navy during the Korean Conflict. Dave served aboard the aircraft carrier, USS Oriskany. He was honorably discharged with a service connected disability in 1952. He was hired by Northwest Airlines in Detroit, Mich., while still a university student and his career spanned 40 years in locations throughout the U.S. and Southeast Asia. He met his wife of 49 years, Margaret, during his posting in Dallas, Texas. They were married in 1963 at Blaney Park Resort, Mich., where Dave worked summers as a bellhop and lifeguard in the 1940s.

As a business leader, Dave remained active as a longtime member of Paul Harris Fellow of the Rotary Club, a board member of Spokane Chamber of Commerce and a member of the International SKAL Club for 50 years.

Dave will be missed for his loveable enthusiasm towards his family, close friends and neighbors; his unwavering loyalty and principled ways; his cornball humor and love of the good stories in every person he met; and his energetic drive in athletics.

He is survived by his wife, Margaret (Weber) Watson; son, Robert Watson of Silverdale, Wash.; daughter, Dorothy Watson of Bellingham, Wash.; daughter-in-law, Yelena (Yefteyeva) Watson of Silverdale; grandsons, Karl Watson, Russell Bower and Adrian Bower; granddaughter, Liese Watson; nieces, Betsy Anderson, Christina Swanson and Jennifer Weber; nephews, David and Rusty Youngblood, and Erik Swanson.

A memorial service celebrating Dave’s life will be held on Jan. 21, in Spokane. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be sent to the Spokane Veterans Home, 222 E 5th Avenue, Spokane, WA 99202. His ashes will be buried in Manistique alongside his parents and sister, Dorothy Cockram.

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