Longtime Denver Post reporter and author Eva Hodges Watt, who lived in Mount Vernon Country Club from 1966 to 2003, died Oct. 3. She was 90 and had been living at Parkplace senior community in Denver.
Watt joined the Post's city desk during World War II and went on to become the religion editor, fashion editor and society editor. Watt, whose byline at the Post was Eva Hodges, retired in 1985. During her long career at the paper, she covered everything from breaking news to high society and haute couture from the runways of Paris. Her interviews spanned a broad spectrum of personalities of the time: Mamie Eisenhower, Clark Gable, Cary Grant, Billy Graham and Bill Blass, among many others. In 1979, Watt won a Penney-Missouri award for her fashion coverage at the Post.
After she retired, Watt traveled extensively and wrote two books with local flavor: "Papa's Girl," a biography of former Denver Post owner and society maven Helen Bonfils; and "Helen Marie Black, Heart of the Denver Symphony."
Watt was a longtime member of the Denver Woman's Press Club and was active in the League of Women Voters. She was an avid theatergoer and an accomplished gourmet cook whose dinner parties for former "Posties" were legendary.
Watt was born on Sept. 27, 1922, in Silver City, N.M., the daughter of the local district attorney. She graduated from Colorado College in 1942 and immediately secured a job as a reporter on the El Paso Times. Two years later, on a quick trip to Denver, she walked into the newsroom of the Denver Post and asked for a job. She was hired on the spot.
In 1953, she married Tom Watt, the Post's photo editor and later its TV columnist. In the 1960s, Tom Watt became news director at Denver's Channel 4, then known as KOA. The Watts were active for many years in Denver's media community. Tom and Eva had two sons, Rob and Joe. Tom Watt died in 1972.
The family was living on Green Mountain in the 1960s when Tom Watt, his younger son Joe and a friend started out on a hike on the Beaver Brook Trail near Lookout Mountain. The three were caught in a sudden snowstorm and sought shelter at a nearby house in Mount Vernon. The people who took them in were so welcoming that Tom Watt decided then and there to move his family to the mountain enclave. The Watts were active in the Mount Vernon Country Club community for years. Eva Watt remained a member of the club until recently.
Eva Watt is survived by her two sons, Joe Watt of Chief Hosa and Rob Watt of Denver; and daughter-in-law Laura Watt of Chief Hosa. Eva's brothers Joseph Hodges of Silver City, N.M., Norman Hodges of Silver City and Fallbrook, Calif., and Robert Hodges of Scottsdale, Ariz., preceded her in death.
A memorial service will be planned later.
Published in Canyon Courier from Oct. 10 to Oct. 17, 2012