Watson, Jack

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 [email protected]).


Arrangements are under the direction of:
ARIA Cremation Service & Funeral Home
19310 Preston Road, Dallas, Texas 75252


7 replies on “Watson, Jack”

Robert E Pruett says:

Dr. Watson was my nicest and best professor in college.

Gloria Delaney says:

What a shock! I have known this wonderful family since I joined the UNT faculty in 1960. I can’t imagine attending a department activity without spending time visiting with Jack and catching up with what is going on with him and all of the family. God Bless you all know that so many of us will be missing him as well.
Gloria Browning Delaney

Al Murdock says:

He was a man of quality and a good teacher. He had a peaceful presence.

Brian E Carey says:

My beloved Uncle Jack,
Oh how I will miss all of our talks about life,family and of coarse sports.
Mostly the laughs and caring you shared with everyone all of your life.! May God rest your soul and I will…Be with you always.

Janet Carey says:

My Uncle Jack, strong – genuine – considerate – loving spirit. My love and prayers to all the family. He is at peace in the Father’s arms.

Joan Carey Morrison says:

It has been my lifelong privilege, honor, and blessing to know Jack Watson as “my Uncle Jack”. I know he was, and will continue to be, so much more to so many. My love to all our family.

Joyce (Eaton) Pennington says:

I truly admired and respected Dr.Watson so much. I was a PE major at North Texas 1968-1972. I kept up with him through the connections at UNT as we have events there at The Coliseum. He was a gentle soul that truly cared about his students. There will be no one that could fill his shoes.

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