Arthur Watson, age 103, of Grapevine, passed away on Thursday October 5, 2023. Art was born August 27, 1920, to Jessie and Nona Watson in Trinity, Texas.
He was baptized at 19 and credited his strong faith with helping him survive the war. Like many in the Greatest Generation, he survived the Great Depression, World War II, and in his case, a span of over a century that saw jaw dropping changes to everyday life. He began life in a world where electricity and indoor plumbing were rare, and went on to see the advent of computers and iPhones.
He was employed in construction before World War II and used those skills building warehouses in Pearl Harbor as part of the Civilian Construction Corp to supply the Pacific War effort. He joined the Merchant Marines in 1943 and was one of 21 survivors after a torpedo attack by a German sub on his ship carrying oil and gas from Aruba. They were rescued after 17 days on a lifeboat in the Atlantic. He married Hazel Young after the war and they settled in Pasadena, Texas, and he resumed construction work.
In December of 1955, Hazel passed away unexpectedly. Art dedicated himself to raising his kids. In 1958, he married Helen Crawley and they enjoyed a long marriage of 58 years. They moved to Anahuac in 1960 and he ran his own construction company while becoming an active part of his church and community. He taught boys Sunday School for over 20 years and loved sharing his faith with all.
He retired in 1984 and he and Helen built a beautiful retirement home on 140 acres in Winnie, Tx., complete with cattle and a fishing pond. The grandkids and the entire family enjoyed skeet shooting, dove hunting, fishing in his stocked pond and country living. It was a wonderful gathering place for memorable family events.
He became a bit of a cowboy who loved attending cattle auctions, raising cattle and enjoying ranch and farm life. With the Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge located just south of their property, they enjoyed watching migrating waterfowl and various birds. He and Helen moved to Cleveland, Texas, in 2006, near his sister and family and made many friends and enjoyed a wonderful church life. After Helen’s death in 2016, he moved to Grapevine in 2020, at the age of 100, to be near family.
Arthur was proceeded in death by wives Hazel and Helen, parents, Jesse and Nona, sister Elsie and husband Hubert Hansbro, sister Ruby Wortham, sister Anna Watson, brother Frank Watson, sister-in-law Edith Watson, and son in law DeWitt Alsup.
He is survived by daughter Sharon Alsup, granddaughter Ashley and husband Rob Wingo and grandson Matt, son Ed and wife Debbie, grandson Will and wife Shanna, granddaughter Jenna and husband Nick Candido, son Walt and wife Karen, grandson Bryan and wife Sabrina, grandson Kyle and wife Kourtney, and grandson Trey and wife Meredith. In addition, Art is also survived by 6 great grandchildren.
Visitation will be held on Saturday, October 14, from 12pm-1pm, at the Pace-Stancil Chapel in Cleveland, Texas, where refreshments will be provided. Arthur’s funeral service is scheduled for 1pm on Saturday, October 14, at the Pace-Stancil Chapel, with a private family interment to follow at Ryan Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to: Central Baptist Church: 615 Plum Grove Rd, Cleveland, TX 77327 (281)-592-3609; Samaritan’s Purse Ministries: PO Box 3000 Boone, NC 28607 (828)-262-1980.