Walter Weakley Watson Jr., 84, passed away on April 8 in Los Angeles. He was born on March 15, 1932, to Walter W. Watson Sr. and Edith Snyder Watson.
He was born into two of Brownwood’s pioneer families. He grew up in a huge, vibrant household of five older sisters and assorted relatives during the challenging years of the Depression, Camp Bowie, and the War. Early on, he began a life fascination with many things (a very young Eagle Scout) but especially aviation. He graduated Brownwood High School in 1949 and went on to college at Howard Payne and the University of Texas with a degree in aeronautics.
His early career in aviation was at (then) Convair at Fort Worth which was then working on such projects as the B-58 and what would become the F-Ill. In the early ‘60s he moved to Los Angeles and began a career with Northrup Aviation with a special interest in wind tunnels and design. He also received a Masters in Aeronautics from USC in 1969.
During those early California years he pursued many of his interests but never more so than the love of his life, June, whom he met and married and with whom he spent a happy half-century. After Northrup, they had a marvelous retirement. He was able to pursue his many interests including being a docent at several area museums including the Petersen Automotive Museum and the Palos Verdes Marine Interpretive Center. His interests also led him to being a Judge for many years in various prestigious classic car competitions in the California area. For the centennial of powered flight he was also much involved in the Wright Flyer project which produced a flyable replica of a Wright aircraft.
Walt and June also enjoyed their retirement by traveling and always had some destination in mind. From their beloved Hawaii in San Diego, to Europe, river cruises in China to happily visiting a crowd of assorted family, they were always on the go and having a marvelous time. He was quite the Renaissance man with many other interests including his music (Jazz!) and even writing assorted short stories which were published some years ago.
In the last couple of years his health became difficult with a series of small strokes which limited his mobility somewhat but not his spirit. He never ceased to enjoy his friends, family, interests, and, always, his beloved June.
He was one of a kind. We shall always remember and miss him.
A memorial service will be held on June 18, 2016, for a scattering of ashes off the coast of California in view of his home of almost 50 years in Rancho Palos Verdes.