OXFORD – Gary W. Watson, 74, of Wayne Avenue, died peacefully at home on Monday, July 19, 2022. He is survived by his son, Gary M. Watson of Oxford; and two grandchildren, Gary M. Watson Jr., and Hannah Watson, both of Webster. He was predeceased by a brother, Johnnie Dale Watson. He was born in Temple, Texas, son of the late John V. and Parma E. (Poole) Watson, and lived in Texas and New Mexico before moving to Massachusetts. He has been a resident of Oxford since 1971.
Mr. Watson was a U.S. Air Force veteran of the Vietnam War. He served in active duty for 12 years and reserve duty for 20 years, retiring from the 42nd Aerial Port Squadron at Westover Air Force Base. He received the Meritorious Service Medal and Air Force Commendation Medal, among many other awards for his service. His reserve unit was activated for Desert Storm and Desert Shield.
Mr. Watson was a mechanic in the military and later at Wyman-Gordon in North Grafton, where he worked for many years prior to retirement. He was a member of the American Legion Post 58 in Oxford. He enjoyed classic cars, going to car shows, and was always tinkering with something.
Gary was a devoted friend who always greeted you with a “hey-low.” Though he left Texas over 40 years ago, he still had his Tex-Mex accent and liked to refer to himself as “cowboy.” He was an extended member of the Reed and Ritchie families and attended all family functions. Everyone looked forward to seeing Uncle Gary. He was loved by many and will be missed by all who knew him.
A military graveside service will be held at 11:00 on Tuesday, July 26, 2022, at the Massachusetts Veterans’ Memorial Cemetery, 1390 Main Street, Agawam. Military honors will be provided by the U.S. Air Force. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Boston Children’s Hospital Trust, 401 Park Drive, Suite 602, Boston, MA 02215, or to the Disabled American Veterans, P.O. Box 14301, Cincinnati, OH 45250-0301.
Paradis-Givner Funeral Home in Oxford is directing the arrangements.