In Memoriam | Wayne C Watson

HPHA is sad to again report the loss of a good friend and community leader, Wayne C.Watson, who passed away on July 10. The bio below is from the Scanlin Funeral Home. Read another tribute to Mr. Watson from the Williamson College of Trades where he served as Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the past 33 years.

Wayne Watson, 86, of Horsham, Pennsylvania, passed away on July 10, 2016, with his wife, Marie Heckler Wick-Watson at his side. He was born to the late James “Conrad” and Margaret Watson, November 16, 1929, in Lansdale, Pennsylvania. He was married in 1955 to the late M. Frances Watson, and raised a family in Horsham. Frances passed away in 2004. Wayne then married Marie E. Heckler Wick at the Williamson Chapel.

Wayne grew up in Hatfield, and attended Hatfield High School. He entered the Williamson School of Mechanical Trades, now the Williamson College of the Trades, Media, Pennsylvania, in 1945, graduating from their Power Plant Technology Program in 1948. Wayne served his country honorably in the U.S. Navy during the Korean War. He earned a BS in Industrial Engineering from the Pennsylvania State University in 1956.

In his early career, Wayne worked as an engineer at Link-Belt Company in Philadelphia. His longest employment was at the American Olean Tile Company in Lansdale, rising to Machine Design and Maintenance Superintendent. At American Olean, Wayne was awarded 12 U.S. patents for ceramic manufacturing processes, and retired after 30 years. He later worked an additional 10 years as a consulting engineer at Rosenberger’s Cold Storage, Hatfield, PA and the Crystal Inc., Bristol, PA.

One of Wayne’s interests, and legacies in his life, was in character development of youth. Wayne served on the Board of Trustees at the Williamson School of Mechanical Trades in Media, Pennsylvania, now the Williamson College of the Trades, starting in 1971, a position he actively and passionately held for the rest of his life. Wayne served as the Chairman of the Board for the last 33 years. “Williamson gratuitously provides students with academic, trade, technical, moral, and religious education, and a living environment based on the Judeo-Christian perspective that fosters the values of faith, integrity, diligence, excellence, and service.” In April 2016, a groundbreaking ceremony was held at Williamson for the construction of a new dormitory, the WATSON dorm, named in honor of Wayne’s contributions to the school. He remarked at the ceremony, “I have been privileged to lead, guide, and make decisions with men and women who believe in our mission. I have worked with many presidents and the large Williamson family, consisting of trustees, instructors, staff, alumni, and many friends. It has been a privilege serving alongside so many outstanding and dedicated people.” The trustees honored him with the School’s first ever title of Chairman Emeritus earlier this month.

In the mid-1970's, Wayne began serving as the Scoutmaster of Boy Scout Troop 410, Prospectville, a position he held for ten years. Wayne was a seasoned outdoorsman, who loved the outdoors and was comfortable camping year-round, always willing to show the boys what “roughing it” meant; this love of the outdoors, combined with his interest in character development of youth, facilitated his leadership that resulted in a flourishing Boy Scout program in the Horsham area. Stressing reverence into the scouting events was an important element to Wayne. Through Wayne’s leadership and guidance, over 15 scouts achieved the highest rank, Eagle, in the Boy Scout program, including his two son’s David and Paul. He was also proud of three additional members of his family who also achieved the rank of Eagle Scout: grandson Alexander Watson and grandnephews James and Dan Lohan.

Wayne was a long time member of Pleasantville United Church of Christ in Chalfont. He served as a Deacon, on the Building Fund Committee, on the Scholarship Committee, and as President of the Church Council. He will be particularly remembered for his organization and conscientious efforts in the development of a formal usher program. For years his post at the entrance door at the church labeled him the “friendly host” as he welcomed all who entered.

One of Wayne's favorite hobbies, as was quite evident to anyone that knew him was antique car restoration. Brother Gerald and Wayne began collecting cars and parts years before their father, Conrad, retired. Upon their father’s retirement, they converted a chicken house into a functional antique auto restoration facility at their father’s home in Hatfield. The shop was the central meeting place for many hours of companionship with family and many, many friends. The hobby later expanded to nearly every relative in Wayne’s family and became a huge source of enjoyment that surrounded him with life-long friends that also enjoyed old cars. Approximately 20 cars were restored at the facility, many of the cars earning National First Prize awards from the Antique Automobile Club of America. Wayne was very active in the North Penn Model A Club, and the Delaware Valley AACA Club, having served as the president for many years. Wayne loved going to the annual Hershey car show, immersing himself in the flea market, and socializing with friends, family, and with everyone he met.

A favorite place Wayne enjoyed were the mountains of north-central Pennsylvania and his involvement with Otter Run Fish and Game Club in English Center. Wayne cherished the comradery of spending time with and working with the members and friends of Otter Run. As a life time member of the club, family vacations and holiday weekends were often spent enjoying the camp with family and friends. Wayne enjoyed trout fishing, jeep rides, and especially deer hunting at Otter Run.

In addition to his wife Marie, he is survived by his three children: David Watson and his wife, Paulette of Media, PA, Elaine Pappas and her fiancé Chris Radseck, of Carmel, IN, and Paul Watson and his wife, Vivian of Brimfield, MA and their children, Alexander, age 18, Zoe, age 15 and Frances Rose, age 11. Also surviving are a sister, Doris Gerges of Hatfield, PA, and two brothers, Gerald Watson and his wife Annette of Souderton, PA, and Donald Watson and his wife Pat of Warren, PA. Also surviving is in-law sister Marion Heckler, the wife of late George Heckler, daughter Celia E. Humeston, in-law grandsons David, CT and Stephen of RI. Surviving step children include son-in-law Thomas Wick and his wife Kitsy and their children Alexander, Zachary and Matthew of Silverdale, WA, daughter-in-law Carolyn Thomas and her husband Jonathan and their children Nathan and Christian of Bremerton, WA, and son-in-law Andrew Wick and his wife Lynette of New York City, NY.

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