He was preceded in death by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Joseph (Elsie Jean Herd) Watson; his brother, Robert Charles Watson; his sister, Laura Agnes Watson Robertson; and his twin sons, William Clayton Watson and Walter Clinton Watson.
He is survived by his loving wife of almost sixty years, Frances Gwynn McNeel Watson; his daughters, Kitty Watson and Christina Watson; and his grandson, Erik.
William was a descendant of the Colson family, one of the original families in the greater Middlesboro area. He was a longtime member of the Middlesboro Rotary Club and was named Middlesboro’s first Poet Laureate. He loved nature and animals, and he often reminisced about hiking up to the Pinnacle with his friends and fishing on Fern Lake with his grandfather as a young boy. He played football in high school and college and was a lifelong fan of UK basketball.
William graduated from Middlesboro High School (1947), the College of William and Mary (1951) in Williamsburg, Virginia, and the University of Kentucky College of Law (1955), in Lexington, Kentucky. In 1951, he volunteered to become a United States Marine and served honorably as a Second Lieutenant in the Korean War, during which time he was awarded the Bronze Star with Combat “V” and a Purple Heart. After the war, he became a Special Agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and worked in the Los Angeles and Las Vegas Field Offices. He then became an Assistant Attorney General for the state of Kentucky, worked as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky, and eventually returned to Middlesboro to practice law privately until he retired in 2004.
From July 2017 until his passing, William resided at the Middlesboro Nursing and Rehabilitation Facility. The family would like to thank all of the staff at the facility for their excellent, kind, and loving care.
A celebration of life service will be held at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America.
Green Hills Funeral Home, Middlesboro is entrusted with all arrangements.