Robert “Bob” Watson died in his sleep on Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2016. He was 84 years old.
Stanley was the name he was given at birth, but his family of origin was unable to properly care for him and he and several of his siblings were placed in an orphanage at a tender age. Within the foster care system he suffered additional neglect and abuse, and those years left their marks on his psyche. At the age of 7 he was adopted by Anita and Ed Watson, who gave him the name Robert, as well as a permanent home.
Bob joined the Navy after graduating high school in Kirkland, Wash. He was a boxer on the Navy’s boxing team, and won a Golden Glove title in his weight class. Bob studied at both Seattle Pacific University and the University of Washington, earning a bachelor’s degree as an ichthyologist from the University of Washington. At SPU he met Beryl “Babs” Bailey of Seattle, Wash. They married in August of 1957 and remained so until Babs’ death in 2008.
Bob was employed with the Washington State Department of Game as a regional fisheries biologist. While there he also conceived and developed the Citizen’s Wildlife Heritage program encouraging people to donate properties and monies to protect wildlife habitat and public access. He retired from the state after approximately 35 years. Additionally he owned a pub, a cedar salvage company, a shake mill, an urban logging company, and promoted boxing in his extra time. Upon his retirement Bob and Babs bought a home in Shelton, Wash. where they resided for more than 20 years.
In the late 1960’s Bob and Babs bought, renovated, and furnished a former lumberman’s home in Hoquiam, Wash. It became known as Hoquiam’s Castle and was designated a State and National Historic Site. For many years they provided guided tours through this home.
Bob was a loyal and generous friend, active, driven, and adventurous. Over his lifetime he traveled to destinations in Africa, China, Europe, Mexico, and South America.
For over 20 years Bob and Babs wintered in Alamos, Mexico where they developed a circle of close friends, an interest in golf, and where Bob spent as much time as he could fishing.
Bob was an avid scrounger and collector. His passions included taxidermy, vintage cars, carriage lamps, antiques, vintage cowboy wares, and specialty fishing lures. Throughout his life he maintained a love for fishing and banana splits.
For the last two years of his life he lived with his dog Taco in a studio apartment on his daughter’s property. The family would like to thank Bob’s loving and capable caregivers, Jenny, Vonda, Terre, Pam and Esther who took care of him to the end.
Bob is survived by his two daughters Jolie Carroll and Lora Burnett (Craig), grandchildren Cheyenna Carroll, Warren Carroll, Jordan Burnett (Megan), Savannah Burnett Wood (Kevin), great-grandchildren Ezri Carroll, Sydney Wood and Sloane Wood, brothers-in-law Paul Bailey, Bruce Bailey (Gayolin), and sister-in-law Liz Bailey.
A family memorial will be held at a later date along with a memorial in Alamos, Sonora Mexico on Dec. 18, 2016.