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Warren K. Watson, Jr. "Warren"

Company L-2

21 Feb 1939 - 22 May 2013

Place of Death: Enid, OK

Inurnment: IOOF Cemetery, Norman, OK

It is with great regret and sorrow that we must inform you of the death of our Classmate, Warren Watson, on May 22, 2013 at the Golden Oaks Nursing Center in Enid, OK, after a courageous battle with Parkinson's disease and Multiple System Atrophy.

Warren is survived by five daughters -- Kim (John) Benson, Pam (Ron) Campbell, Sally (Kent) Cotarelo, Becky (Ross) Angell, and Cindy Scamardo -- and 13 grandchildren -- Jeremy, Jesse, and Julia Benson; Seth Campbell; Zach, Gabi, and Chase Cotarelo; Nathan, Kyle, and Leah Angell; and Dylan, Justin, and Ryan Scamardo.

Warren was buried at a graveside service with military honors on May 28, 2013 at the IOOF Cemetery in Norman, OK, next to his parents and brother.

Condolences may be sent to Sally Cotarelo, 4005 Harpers Ferry, Enid, OK  73703.

Donations in Warren's memory may be made to the West Point Association of Graduates, 698 Mills Road, West Point, NY  10996.

Well done, Warren.  Be thou at peace.


Class Memorial Pages\L-2 Warren Watson.pdf


Obituary for Warren Watson Jr.

Inurnment for Warren Kenneth Watson Jr , 74, of Enid, OK, will be Tuesday, May 28, 2013, 12 Noon at the IOOF Cemetery in Norman, OK with Mr. Kent Cotarelo officiating. Cremation was under the direction of Ladusau-Evans Funeral Home.

Warren was born February 21, 1939 in Lansing Michigan and died May 22, 2013 in Enid, OK. He received a Master’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Florida and also a Master’s degree in Operations Research from Florida Tech. Warren was a graduate of West Point Military Academy before he entered the military. He was a veteran of the United States Air Force serving as a pilot during the Vietnam Conflict. He served his country for 23 years and retired as a Major He was employed by Harris Corporation as an electrical engineer after his retirement from the Air Force. He was an active member of Toastmasters and The Lion’s Club. Warren was an avid sports fan.

Survivors include five daughters and thirteen grandchildren

Taps Memorial Article: 

Warren K. Watson Jr. 1961

Cullum No. 23512-1961 | May 22, 2013 | Died in Enid, OK
Cremated. Interred in IOOF Memory Gardens Cemetery, Norman, OK

Warren Kenneth Watson Jr. was born in Lansing, MI on February 21, 1939 to Warren K. Sr. and Verle Blanche Watson. His father was an Air Force pilot who retired as a lieutenant colonel. Warren’s destiny to serve his country and his inclination to aviation were cast at an early age. He was the oldest of three sons. Youngest brother Gordon was an Army helicopter pilot, retiring as a captain, and middle brother Larry served in the Marine Corps. 

Following graduation from high school Warren was appointed to the United States Military Academy at West Point as a member of the Class of 1961. He took the structure of discipline and challenge of demanding academic programs in stride, and the environment fortified his desire for a military career. While at the Academy Warren played basketball and various intra-squad sports and never passed an opportunity to satisfy his sweet tooth at “Boodles,” a campus snack bar of repute. He handily mastered math and the physical sciences but struggled a bit with the social sciences. Overall, he coped well with the demanding curriculum and graduated in the top half of his class in June 1961. 

After graduation Warren was sworn into the United States Air Force. He attended flight school at Vance AFB in Enid, OK from 1961 to 1962 and advanced training in KC-135s, a refueling aircraft, in 1963. His first assignment was to the 917th Air Refueling Squadron, Dyess AFB, TX, where he flew KC-135 Stratotankers. Missions included refueling B-52 Strategic Air Command bombing missions over Vietnam and airborne alerts. He was with the 917th from 1963 to 1967. 

Warren was assigned to the 21st Tactical Air Support Squadron at Bien Hoa, Republic of Vietnam in late 1967. He flew O-1E’s as a forward air controller (FAC) performing air reconnaissance of enemy positions and directing tactical airstrikes against enemy ground targets. The missions supported sector operations of the Republic of Korea Capital Division and units of the 101st Airborne Division. The O-1E was an unarmed, low speed aircraft required to fly at low altitudes to accomplish its FAC mission. These conditions made the aircraft extremely vulnerable to enemy ground fire. Warren was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and 17 Air Medals for extraordinary achievement participating in aerial flight in a hostile environment during this assignment. 

In early 1969 Warren was assigned to the 915th Air Refueling Squadron at Ramey AFB, Puerto Rico, flying KC-135s. While in Puerto Rico he attended Inter American University and received an MBA in operations research in 1971. He served in the 12th Civil Engineering Squadron at Randolph AFB in San Antonio, TX from 1971 to 1973 and earned a master’s degree in electrical engineering at the University of Florida in 1974. Warren was assigned to the 381st Civil Engineering Squadron at McConnell AFB in Wichita, KS from 1974 to 1977. In late 1977 he was transferred to the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Center as program manager for the TF33 Engine Program until 1979. He completed his career with the 5th Bomb Wing in Minot, ND, where he retired as a major in 1982. 

After retirement Warren was employed by Harris Corporation in Melbourne, FL. He was able to apply his EE master’s credentials as an electrical engineer. He was an active member of Toastmasters and the Lion’s Club. His business career was regrettably cut short in the late 1980s when the debilitating effects of Parkinson’s disease took their toll. 

Warren married Dolores Pearce on September 28, 1962. They had five daughters who bore 13 grandchildren. While West Point and an Air Force career fulfilled Warren’s lifelong dreams of patriotic service, the apples of his eye in private life were his daughters and their grandchildren. They provided the outlet for his loving and caring side and his quixotic sense of humor. One daughter recalled that dad took her to a “cool” Tower Restaurant to celebrate her 10th birthday. Another remembered her dad helping with Girl Scout cookie sales and was the only dad counselor at camp that year. 

Warren was remembered as being “thrifty.” He once boycotted the officers’ club pool because of a pool patch price increase. Dad bought a boat to take the kids swimming in a nearby lake in retaliation. Mom later admitted she paid the fees so the girls could use the pool during the week. The girls recall that dad was a firm disciplinarian. One daughter remembered a proper spanking for an unauthorized tree climb and being carried like a sack of potatoes into the house. Warren frequently “drafted” his daughters to be human remote controls to help keep track of multiple sports events he was watching on two TVs. The girls also remember that their dad was an avid music lover whose large Elvis record collection was transferred to tape for posterity and later listening pleasure. The daughters all recall that their dad was a complete patriot who loved his country and was proud to serve it. 

The twilight of Warren’s life was punctuated with a game battle with Parkinson’s disease and multiple system atrophy. Warren faced these challenges with the same grit and determination that defined the rest of his life. He was determined to live the rest of his life to its fullest potential. When his fluency was affected, he took speech therapy so he could be better understood. Warren attended West Point class reunions to renew old acquaintances and to watch the Army team play in the alumni football game. One classmate recalled that, although his fluency was challenged, he could still recite the Army team’s depth chart and individual statistics. Those were perhaps his fondest final memories. Godspeed Warren!