April 24, 1923 - July 13, 2017
Jack Watson, born on April 24, 1923 to Frank and Effie Watson in Gas City, Kansas, died on July 13, 2017 at his home in Denton, Texas at the age of 94. He was raised with his siblings, Evelyn and Boyd. Jack graduated from Maryville High School in Missouri in 1941, a proud and lifelong “Spoofhound”. He served in the Army Air Corps during WWII as a navigator bombadier in Europe. He received his B.S. degree from University of Arizona in 1949, his M.A. from Teacher’s College, Columbia University in 1950, and his Ed.D. from Teacher’s College in 1956. Jack moved from New York City to Denton in 1956 to join the faculty of North Texas State University, where he taught for 33 years. Retiring as Emeritus Professor in 1989, he continued as adjunct and student teacher supervisor until 2001. His teaching career spanned more than 50 years.
He was active in professional organizations at both the national and state levels. He joined the Texas Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance at its founding meeting in 1956, received its Honor Award in 1974, served as president 1983-84, and did not miss an annual convention for the next 60 years. In 2006 he received the prestigious David K. Brace Award for service and leadership in TAHPERD.
Jack served in his community as president of Cross Timbers Girl Scout Council, member of Denton City Recreation Board, and Little League baseball coach. He was an active member of the First United Methodist Church since 1956, attending the Men’s Discussion Class and serving in numerous capacities.
He enjoyed studying the history of sport, especially baseball and James Naismith, the inventor of basketball; was an avid baseball fan and handball player; and he loved to travel. Music was an important part of his entire life, through his piano playing, singing, whistling, and listening. He was a loving husband, father, grandfather, and uncle; and that love extended to his friends, students, and colleagues.
Jack Watson is survived by his wife, Martha, and his children Scott (Jessica), Karen (King), Sue O’Neill (Will), Leslie Mueller (Steve); granddaughters Jessie O’Neill, Madison Moore(Stephen), and Luzi Watson; and nieces and nephews Gary and Janet Watson, Joan Morrison, Janet and Brian Carey.
A service to celebrate Jack’s life will be held on Saturday, August 19, 11:00AM in Cole Chapel of First United Methodist Church in Denton. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to First United Methodist Church, Denton, or TAHPERD (contact Lynda@tahperd.org).
“DEEP IN MY HEART IS A SONG”
Arrangements are under the direction of:
ARIA Cremation Service & Funeral Home
19310 Preston Road, Dallas, Texas 75252
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