Kenneth H. "Ken" Watson

Watson, Kenneth H. (Ken)
Kenneth H. (Ken) Watson passed away on May 7, 2013 at the age of 99 years in Prescott, Arizona. Ken was born November 18, 1913, in San Pedro, California. He came to Arizona in 1918, moved to Prescott and stayed until May of 1919, when his father, H.B. Watson, started a newspaper in Wickenburg, the "Arizona State Miner." The family then moved to Phoenix in 1924 where Ken's father started another newspaper, the "Five Points Star," which published until his death in 1925. Ken attended Monroe and Adams Schools in Phoenix and graduated from Phoenix Union High School in 1930 at the age of 17. In August of that year he went to work as an apprentice printer for the "Arizona Republic" (later know as the "Republic and Gazette") in their commercial printing department. In 1937 he married Mary Louise Graham, who was a member of the Class of 1933 of PUHS. She passed away in 1964, and Ken married Patricia Mathews in 1969. Pat passed away in 2011. In 1942 he enlisted in the U. S. Army Air Corps and spent 26 months overseas, from Australia to New Guinea to Leyte to Luzon to Okinawa, printing bombing charts for the 5th Air Corps. Returning home in 1946, he bought stock in McGrew Printing and Lithographing Company, continuing to work there until he retired in 1978 as president and general manager. He was an avid hunter and fisherman and enjoyed bowling, pool, and golf. Ken had two hole-in-one plays in his lifetime: the first at the age of 75 and the second at the age of 90. He played baseball in the old Twilight League in Phoenix and also softball. In basic training for the Air Corps at McDill Field in Florida, he taught the other recruits how to "fast pitch" in their softball games--a tactic that no one had seen before. He retired to Clarkdale, Arizona, in 1979, and was a member of the Clarkdale Restoration Commission, which was charged with restoring the Clark Memorial Clubhouse. He was also a volunteer at Marcus J. Lawrence Hospital (now Verde Valley Medical Center) in Cottonwood, Arizona. Ken was a longtime member of the First Families of Arizona, as his German father came to Tombstone in 1879. His mother, Johannah Julianna Lundgren, was a fullblooded Swede who ventured from her homeland to the U.S. in 1904. Ken also was a member of the Downtown Kiwanis Club, the Phoenix Chamber of Commerce, and the Veterans of Foreign Wars. He is survived by his daughter, Julia Watson-Frandsen, his son-in-law, Clifford Frandsen, and numerous nephews and nieces. He was cremated and, at his request, no services will be held. Hampton Funeral Home was entrusted with the arrangements. Please visit www.hamptonfuneralhome.com to sign Ken's guest book.


Published in The Arizona Republic on May 12, 2013