Kenneth Watson, 79

Jack-of-all-trades, veteran

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Kenneth Wayne Watson, 79, of Oak Park, died on Nov. 23, 2017 at home, surrounded by family in Cary, North Carolina. Born in Oak Park on Feb. 22, 1938, he was a graduate of OPRF High School. After serving in the U.S. Marine Corps, he worked as an apprentice electrician and then at Brigance Chevrolet in Oak Park as a fleet sales manager for 10 years. He went on to manage the warehouse for J.H. Lehnen Plumbing & Heating Supply Co. until 1984 and finished his career working for Benjamin Moore & Co. before retiring in 1997. A lifelong car enthusiast, he was known as a jack-of-all-trades and kept busy always fixing something or helping out a friend, family member, or, often, strangers. He also enjoyed traveling across country by car and camping and had a special place in his heart for the Rocky Mountains. He was dedicated to caring for his family as they experienced ill health, especially his mother, brother Bob, and his beloved wife, Sandy. 

Kenneth Watson is survived by his sister, Carol (Harry) Armes; his children, Debbie (Paul) Edwards, Bonnie (Simon) Taylor and Kenneth Jr. (Michele); and his grandchildren, Rebecca (David), Robert (Kelley), Rachel, Tim, Maxwell and Kevin. He was preceded in death by his parents, Vernon and Ethel Watson; his wife, Sandra (Jackson) Watson; and his brothers, Robert, Charles, Curtis, and John. 

Services will be Private. 

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations to the American Lung Association would be appreciated.

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Dan Haley from Wednesday Journal Wednesday Journal Employee

Posted: December 11th, 2017 8:31 AM

Brian, What a great remembrance of Mr. Watson. Never met the man but you make him sound like a gem. My folks bought the 1962 Chevy wagon at Brigance Chevrolet. Was on Chicago Avenue near Austin. Now the Enterprise car rental place.

Brian Sharpe  

Posted: December 10th, 2017 3:58 PM

I remember Ken from when he worked at Brigance Chevrolet and would come home with each year's new models as his demos. I watched as the 60's styling evolved from straight-edged to curved and can still name all of the Chevy tail light patterns by year. 'Round about 1975, Ken had a customer trade in a 2 year old Subaru GL for a Vega, (bad move). The Subaru sat on their lot for a month and no one even looked at it. When I mentioned that my Pontiac was killing me on gas, Ken brought the Subaru home for me to test drive and we cut a deal on the spot for $500. I drove it for a year, saved a ton on fuel and sold the GL for a $200 profit! Ken knew his cars. I believe Ken and Sandy took care of his Mom after she moved in with them to their home on Oak Park Ave and Chicago Ave. Up until about 15 years ago, I would see him out mowing the lawn or working on his car and always honk & wave. Not sure if he even remembered me, but I'm sure I wasn't the only neighbor who greeted him fondly. About 2 years ago, I saw an 80s Corvette in his driveway with a for sale sign. I thought this might be a good time to finally stop and say hello from our family. A man in his 50's answered the door and when I inquired about Ken & Sandy, he mentioned they had moved out of state, after his family bought their home. I told him that Ken would have loved his Corvette and he said, "Buy it for him then!" I wanted to offer him $500, but bit my tongue?

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