On Thursday evening, the 17th of February 2022, William Richard Watson, known to all his friends and family as Bill or Billy, passed away from natural causes at Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane, Wash. He was 98 years young.
Born on Christmas Day, 1923, to Coy and Golda Watson of Los Angeles, he was the sixth of nine children. Like the rest of his siblings and his father, he worked frequently in the budding film industry. The Watsons appeared in hundreds of films (the Watson family is the only entire family with a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame) with Billy having numerous roles, appearing with the likes of Jimmy Stewart, Katharine Hepburn, Will Rogers and Spencer Tracy.
During World War II, like three of his brothers, he served honorably in the United States Coast Guard. Following the war, he became a highly successful commercial photographer in the Los Angeles area. Moving to La Cañada in 1958, he was an active member of the La Cañada Players theater group and La Cañada United Methodist Church, where he sang in the choir with his wife, Sue, and played the role of Christ in the church’s passion play, “The Hours Before the Cross,” during the 1970s. Upon his retirement, in 1990, Bill and Sue moved to Colville, Wash.
He married his beloved wife, Sue, in 1946, and she remained devotedly at his side until her death in 2008. Billy is survived by his children, Bill and his wife Susan, of Eagle Point, Ore., Dennis and his wife Jane, of San Diego, Calif., Colleen, of Colville, Wash., Rod, of Spokane, Wash. (all LCHS grads), 10 grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren, and his last surviving sibling, his 93-year-old brother, Garry Watson of Burbank, Calif.
He was loving and kind; he could light up a crowded room with his laughter and exuberance. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him.
No memorial service is scheduled at this time. Anyone wishing to make a contribution in his honor can do so through the Salvation Army.