WATTS, Ronald Francis
August 21, 1918 - January 16, 2013
In Edmonton after a short illness. Born in Calgary, only son of Avis (Greer) and AFC (Frank) Watts of the RCMP. In his first year the family moved to Vancouver where Ron attended elementary and junior high school. Reestablishment of the RCMP as Alberta's police led to the family's move to Edmonton's RCMP barracks at the top of Grierson Hill, where Ron attended Alex Taylor School and was confirmed in Christ Church (Anglican). Having learned Morse as an amateur radio operator, Ron worked a few months with the Marine Division (RCMP ship Macdonald) out of Halifax before returning to Edmonton to complete high school. Here his amateur radio and the invitation of a friend led him to Macdonald Baptist Church where he joined a radio operators' group, was baptized and mentored by Rev. Harold Stibbards and made the decision to enter Christian ministry. He attended St. Stephen's College, Edmonton, for his BA degree and the first year of theological (BD) studies. During this time he served as student pastor at Shiloh Baptist Church and later at Bonnie Doon Baptist Church where he met his future life partner Fanshun Taddy who led the Canadian Girls in Training (CGIT) group. Ron and Fanshun moved to Hamilton Ontario for two years at McMaster University where Fanshun worked in the University Library and Ron completed his BD degree while serving as Assistant (student) pastor at James Street Baptist Church. In 1944 they accepted the call to Calvary Baptist Church, Weyburn, Sask, Ron's only full pastoral charge, before moving to Calgary to found and lead the Baptist Leadership Training School in 1949. Three sons were born: David in Weyburn, and Jonathan and Peter in Calgary. In 1960 McMaster University conferred an honorary Doctorate of Divinity (DD) degree on Ronald in recognition of the work at BLTS. In 1971 Ron and Fanshun moved to Ontario and settled in Oakville. Ron served as General Secretary of the Baptist Convention of Ontario and Quebec while Fanshun served as National Secretary of CGIT. Ron retired from BCOQ in 1984 but remained active in his local Central Baptist Church in Oakville where he was named a Pastor Emeritus. He was also a local Vice President and member of Amnesty International. Predeceased by his parents Frank and Avis, by his spouse Fanshun and by his son Jonathan, he is survived by sons David of Edmonton and Peter (spouse Caitlin) of Toronto. An open house will be held at David's home in Edmonton on Saturday, January 19. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org in Edmonton to request details. A memorial service will be held later in Oakville.
Published in The Edmonton Journal on Jan. 18, 2013