James Robert Watts

Published 6:56 pm Wednesday, October 16, 2019

On Oct. 10, 2019, we said farewell to James Robert Watts, affectionately known as “Bob” to those that knew and loved him. He is survived by his wife, Chris, and five children, Debbie LeClair (Joe), Dan Watts (Vickie), Tracy Murray, Amy Brown (Morry) and Keller Watts (Jennifer). Bob was also blessed with 12 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. Although he was taken from us too soon, Bob enjoyed a full life filled with family and friendships. He was known as a kind, caring, selfless man, who was quick to smile, and lend a hand. Over his 81 years, he protected his country, always carried himself with purpose, and formed connections with all those he came across. Honor, kindness, respect, acceptance — that was his life code and he walked the talk.

Bob had a long and distinguished career in the military joining at the young age of 17, serving a tour in Vietnam, rising to the rank of chief master sergeant at an early age, and retiring after 32 years of service to his country. Over his career he was shot at, took cover from mortars, and led others during war and peace — he served and adventure followed. Long after retirement, Bob always took great pride when active duty personnel respectfully addressed him simply as “Chief.” However, nothing gave him as much joy as his ever-expanding family. His patience, good nature, selflessness, and kind disposition allowed him to form a special bond with each one of his grandchildren who all lovingly referred to him as “Pop-Pop.” With 12 grandchildren in and out of his home, many neighborhood kids assumed that his real name was Pop-Pop and commonly called him that — he loved it! Bob also enjoyed simple things like staying active by cutting grass (he always said he could immediately see the fruits of his labor), steaming and picking Maryland crabs (cuisine that reminded him of his childhood on the Chesapeake Bay where his father was a waterman), and watching the sunset with a gin and tonic.

Bob was taken from us unexpectedly but we are thankful that it was on his terms, doing something he enjoyed, and in the company of the love of his life. He was a great role model, a good man, and had a life well lived. The family will hold a private ceremony and asks that in lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Air Force Aid Society at www.afas.com.

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