William Watson

"A long life, well-lived"

RAPID CITY | Born a firecracker baby on the 4th of July, 1928, Bill passed away at the age of 91 on Aug. 9, 2019 at the Hospice House in Rapid City.

Born and raised in Bison, the county seat of Perkins County, a small farming community in Northwestern South Dakota, Bill was the first born and only son of William and Myrtle Watson and big brother to sister, Joy. At age 18, Bill obtained his pilot's license flying an Aeronca Chief light aircraft and is believed to have been the youngest pilot in South Dakota at the time. Bill's love of flying was also a benefit as he flew patients to Mayo Clinic for emergency medical treatment.

Bill married Stella Baker on Thanksgiving Day in 1950 and they shared 69 years of life's adventures together. To their union was born three children, Debra, Jocelyn and Dwight. The Watson family owned and managed an International Harvester Implement dealership and a Gambles Department Store in Bison for over 40 years providing needed goods and services to the agricultural community, which businesses Bill continued to own and operate until his retirement.

In 1990, Bill and Stella bought a home on Central Boulevard in Rapid City and spent their retirement years in the beautiful Black Hills. Bill's favorite pastimes during his retirement years were solving the world's problems with his friends at McDonald's, enjoying a competitive game of golf or reading a history book or biography in the comfort of his favorite chair. As a history buff, Bill’s road trips never missed a historical marker. As a self-employed entrepreneur, Bill valued education and took pride in the fact that all three of his children graduated from college. A private man, Bill was blessed with an infectious smile, a zany wit and an unconditional love for his family.

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Bill is survived by his wife, Stella; his three children, Debra (Mark Blote) Watson, Jocelyn (David) Haskell and Dwight (Marci) Watson; 6 grandchildren; 7 great-grandchildren; and his canine companion, "Buddy." Bill will best be remembered as a wonderful husband, amazing father and grandfather, who was deeply loved, now missed and forever cherished.

Awaiting his arrival are his father, mother and sister.

A Celebration of Life ceremony will be at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 17, at Kirk Funeral Home.

Memorials are requested to South Canyon Lutheran Church in Rapid City.

An online guestbook is available at kirkfuneralhome.com.

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