February 23, 1927
November 10, 2021
John Elbert Watson, 94, passed peacefully into the arms of his Savior and Lord Wednesday, November 10, 2021. John was born an only child, to Sim Jewell Watson and Zettye Neill Watson on February 23, 1927, in Center, Shelby County, Texas. When John was 3, he accompanied his mother, the town’s teacher daily to the one room schoolhouse in the Sardis Community of Shelby County. A farm boy living in the depression years, John learned the value of hard work and frugality. He graduated from Center High School, then entered Texas A&M College on D-Day, June 6, 1944. He left the following summer to enlist in the Army. After WWII ended, John returned to his beloved Aggieland, graduating in 1949, with a BS in Landscape Architecture. John lived by the Aggie motto, “Once an Aggie, always an Aggie”, and upheld the Aggie core values of respect, excellence, leadership, loyalty, integrity, and selfless service all his life. He carried the Aggie Spirit with him as he left A&M to take the position as Principal of Shepherd High School, where he coached 6-man football. In 1952, John began work at Tennessee Gas as a design draftsman. John earned a MED from Stephen F Austin College in 1954, and later went to South Texas College of Law at night and earned his law degree in 1965. He moved up through his 20 years at Tenneco to become the Manager of Regulatory Affairs. During which time , he testified before the Supreme Court in 1968 and was a member of national and state bar associations and the US Court of Appeals, along with oil and gas, and civic associations.
In 1973, John joined the Mitchell Energy Corporation as a Vice-President of Gas and Regulatory Affairs. He rose to Senior VP of Governmental and Regulatory Affairs, while working in the Woodlands and traveling often to Washington DC. John was President of TIPRO, Texas Independent Producers and Royalty Owners from 1987 to 1989. In 1994, John and his devoted wife Ann moved to the farm in Chappell Hill, Texas, and soon acquired a slew of cows, goats, horses, and chickens. After commuting a few years, John retired in 1996, to become a full-time gentleman farmer. Living in the country suited John, and he and Ann soon were a vital part of the Chappell Hill community. He could be found out on the tractor into his 90’s. John was a member of the Masonic Lodge for 70 years. He volunteered at the local elementary school, reading with children. He mentored boys in his church through Royal Ambassadors. John enjoyed playing 42 with his “Codgers” group at church, and as he matured in faith, taught the men’s Sunday school class. A loving husband, devoted father and grandfather, and loyal friend, John will be deeply missed. Until we meet again! Psalm 116:15
As an only child, John got his wish for a large family in abundance! John Watson, affectionately known as Papa, was preceded in death by his first wife Grace, and his grandchildren, Luke and Rachel Watson. He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Ann Campbell Watson; his son, John Kenneth Watson and daughter-in-law, Debbie Watson; son, Stanley Clifford Watson; son, Michael Wayne Watson and daughter-in-law, Tammy Watson; daughter, Cindy Pate and son-in-law, Allen Pate; daughter, Gina McFarland and son-in-law, Doug McFarland; daughter, Karmen Cunningham and son-in-law, Cash Cunningham; daughter, Lee Ann Platt and son-in-law, Doug Platt; son, Sam Watson and daughter-in-law, Melinda Watson; 34 grandchildren: Amy, Stanley, Ashley, David, John Ferguson, Tara, Tiffany, Thara, Mary Katherine, Andrew, Stuart, Tom, Austin, Lauren, Barbara, Anna, Caroline, Sarah, Azamat, Charlotte, Cara, Amelia, Talgat, Ann, Elizabeth, Wendy, Jessica, Seth, Ashlynn, Tori, Carolina, Tami, Jamee, and John Adam; 28 great-grandchildren, and more on the way!
Visitation for John Elbert Watson will be Friday, November 12, 2021, from 5pm to 7pm, at Brenham Memorial Chapel, 2300 Stringer Street, Brenham, Texas. John’s Celebration of Life service will be Saturday, November 13, beginning at 11am, at First Baptist Church Chappell Hill, 7675 FM2447, Chappell Hill, Texas, with internment at the Chappell Hill Masonic Cemetery, followed by lunch in the FBCCH Fellowship Hall. Gifts of memoriam may be sent to: First Baptist Church Chappell Hill. Services are in the care of Brenham Memorial Chapel.
Services are in the care of Brenham Memorial Chapel and online condolences ay be shared with the family at www.brenhammemorialchapel.com.