Nov 6, 1949 – April 3, 2021
Each family has a cornerstone, the rock everyone relies on—the first person we call for help or comfort. On Saturday evening, we said good-bye to our family’s rock. Bob fought esophageal cancer with courage, grace, and dignity. After many long months of battling the disease, he slipped away in his home, surrounded by family.
Bob grew up farming, attended Western Tech mechanic school in Denver, then proudly served his country during the Vietnam War in aviation communications. Following his service, he worked for Ideal Refrigeration and Electric as an apprentice electrician. He moved on to become an electrician at the Sarpy Creek Mine, where he worked for 29 years, often making the long drive several times a day when called out to fix the dragline. He started a new adventure after retiring from the mine, creating his own business in the oil fields of North Dakota.
He met his wife Judy, “Jude”, shortly after returning from Vietnam. They married a few years later and were blessed with three daughters.
One thing his family loved most was his sense of humor, which he passed on to his grandchildren by endlessly joking with them. When a cow went “missing” it meant a long drive with a cold beer. Not only did Bob make all of us laugh, but his infectious laugh is one of our favorite memories.
Whenever we needed something fixed, we called Dad. From a funny noise in your car to rewiring your 100-year-old house, he always had all the answers. He was always finding creative solutions to problems, such as installing an electric fence three inches off the ground to keep rabbits out of the garden.
He was genuine and quiet. When he said something, everyone listened. Likewise, when you said something he listened intently. He was always willing to lend a helping hand and took many under his wing to help guide them through a variety of challenges.
Throughout his life, he enjoyed fishing with family and friends and was especially excited to teach his children and grandchildren how to fish. He enjoyed snowmobiling (aka coyote hunting), a good game of cards, shooting either trap or pool, and a nap in the yard on a warm summer day. Aviation was a long-time passion and getting to ride in a WWII plane and skydiving were a couple of highlights over the past few years.
Bob’s family will carry on his memory. He is survived by his wife Judy, his daughters Sanna (Emmet Whittaker) Watson, Christina Little, and Bobbi (Reid) Lawson. His siblings Marguerite Richard, David (Bev) Watson, Terry Cook, Sharon Denniston, and Bill (Cheryl) Watson; and the absolute delight of his life, his five grandchildren: Kylie, Peyton, Blake, Jaxson, and Quincie. He will join his parents Bill and Rosie Watson, along with his siblings Don Watson and Mary Odekoven in heaven. He will also be remembered by many nieces, nephews, and close friends who were so important to him.
Bob’s family would like to offer our heartfelt thanks to Stillwater Hospice who provided a tremendous amount of support in the last day of his life.
Viewing will be held on Wednesday, April 7, 2021 from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM and Thursday, April 8, 2021 from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM at the Bullis Family Center located at 524 Cheyenne Avenue. To enter, please use the 6th Street entrance.
There will be a celebration of Bob’s life at the Bighorn County Fairgrounds Friday, April 9, 2021 at 2:30 PM.
Bullis Mortuary is entrusted with the arrangements.