Donald R. Watson
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Donald R. Watson
  • August 7, 1946 - March 15, 2017
  • Westmoreland, New Hampshire

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Donald R. Watson, 70, a long-time resident of Westmoreland, NH, passed away peacefully at his home on Wednesday, March 15, 2017.

Don was born to Edwin and Jean (Wiatr) Watson in Waterbury, CT on August 7, 1946.In 1964, he graduated from Cheshire High School in Cheshire, CT where he played football and ran track. Don then went on to earn his Bachelor's Degree in Architecture from Penn State. Throughout his high school and college years, Don played the snare drum in an ancient fife and drum corps in his home town.

On August 24, 1968 he married his best friend and life-long dance partner Joan Wimmer, in Spring Lake, NJ.

Upon graduation from Penn State in 1970, Don and Joan headed to Atlanta, GA to do volunteer alternative service with the Mennonite Central Committee. Don was a community organizer in the Little Five Points inner-city neighborhood where, among other things, he was instrumental in starting a credit union that served lower income residents, to whom the banks would not lend. That credit union remains a strong asset in the community today. He also designed his first "architectural structure" there - the Tower of Rubble. It was made of junk left on an abandoned stretch of state owned property that cut through the middle of the neighborhood. The Tower did what letters and complaints could not do - it caused the powers that be to clean up the land. The land is now the park that runs adjacent to the Jimmy Carter Center.

Don worked for the Henry Smith architectural firm in downtown Atlanta for several years.

In 1979, Don and his family moved to NH - a life-long dream. They bought some land and a chain saw. Don designed their house and together they pounded nails and poured concrete, until the lines on the drawing became their home.

Don worked for Richard Monahon Architects, in Peterborough, for 30 years. He loved the variety of projects he was involved with and particularly enjoyed Our Lady of the Mountain Catholic Church in Conway and Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Nashua. The Seven Hills Long Term Pediatric Care Center in Groton, MA was another project that Don found challenging and extremely rewarding. He retired in 2008.

Don played percussion for many years with the Westmoreland Town Band, as well as occasionally with the St. Bernard's Folk Group at Mass. He could also be found at the Westmoreland Town Hall, on stage, for many productions during Old Home Day plays.

He was a member, and past Commodore of the Spofford Yacht Club and the Captain of the Town Class Sailing Fleet. He was also a past Captain of the national Town Class Association.

Don had a love of trains that began in early childhood. He collected model trains, and loved spending time working on his layout, a replica of the Naugatuck Railroad.. He also built a portable layout that has become a staple at the Peterborough Model Train Show in recent years. He also volunteered as a conductor with the Railroad Museum of New England, in Thomaston, CT.

Don and his wife loved to travel to new places and cruise to anywhere. They could often be spotted on local dance floors, as well as dance floors at sea.

He volunteered at the Cheshire Medical Center, in the mailroom for several years.

Don's sense of humor and story-telling are legendary. He will be missed by so many whose lives he has touched. He is survived by his wife Joan, of Westmoreland; his son Christopher and his wife Francee of Peterborough; his daughter Jennifer of New Boston; his grandchildren Abigale and Graeme of Peterborough; his three sisters Jean Watson of Forestville, CT; Joan Williams of, Chester, CT and Laureen Mastroianni of Cheshire, CT; several nieces and nephews and all 37 members of the 4 Family Association.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Friday, March 24, 2017 at 11am at St Margaret Mary Church. The family will have a private burial at a later date. Calling hours will be on Thursday, March 23, 2017 from 5 to 7pm at the Foley Funeral Home, 49 Court Street, Keene, NH.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Westmoreland Fire and Rescue, PO Box 16, Westmoreland, NH 03467