WATSON, Lonnie H. formerly of St. Petersburg, passed away on March 1, 2011. Born in Ellenton, Nov. 13, 1928, he was predeceased by parents Alexander and Carrie; wife Anne; second wife Judy, and brothers William and Wade. He is survived by son Dale (wife Ann Holmes) and brother Dr. Paul Watson (wife Ruth) and nephew and niece Dr. James Watson and Cindy Watson. Mr. Watson was descended from a pioneer family who settled in Manatee County in the late 1800s. His grandfather, Alexander (Sandy) was the sheriff of Manatee County from 1882 to 1896, and was credited with breaking up the infamous Sarasota Vigilance Committee, as reported in the New York Times. The family home in Ellenton is preserved as a church and on the Historic Register. Mr. Watson was a combat veteran of the Korean Conflict, where he earned two Bronze Stars. He was an outstanding athlete, a baseball, football and basketball player in high school. He attended the University of Florida. After the Korean Conflict, Mr. Watson turned his talents to salesmanship, where he attained national recognition with the Kirby Corporation and as a motivational speaker. Mr. Watson became an avid golfer who had many successes on the local golf scene. He was a 32 degree Mason, and a member of St. Petersburg Golf and Country Club (Lakewood) for over 30 years. Although in declining health the last few years, his cheerful and optimistic nature never flagged. One of his trademark sayings, "I ain't the best but I've never been beat" defined his attitude towards life. His endearing and magnetic personality will be greatly missed. Memorial Service will be held at Anderson McQueen Funeral Home 2201 Dr. Martin Luther King, St. Petersburg, at 3 pm on Thursday, March 10. 727-822-2059
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Anderson-McQueen Funeral Home
2201 Dr. MLK St. North
St. Petersburg, FL 33704
Published in the Tampa Bay Times on Mar. 6, 2011