George Herbert (Herb) Watson Jr., 92, former owner of Ace Peninsula Hardware for 37 years, died Monday night, Oct. 29, from complications of Multiple Myeloma.
In 1952, Mr. Watson and his brother, Charles bought Peninsula Hardware on Merchant's Square. The store was moved to the new Williamsburg Shopping Center in 1955, occupying two different locations before Charles retired from the business in 1981.
After affiliating with Ace in 1987, Herb Watson moved the business to its present location in the old Colony Lanes bowling alley. It was the largest Ace store in Virginia at the time. Mr. Watson sold the business in 1989.
Mr. Watson was very active in the Williamsburg business community, holding several positions in the Chamber of Commerce, including president in 1973. He was also among the founders of two local banks, Tidewater Bank and Williamsburg National, both of which eventually became part of Wachovia, now Wells Fargo.
He was one of the early members of the newly formed Williamsburg Jaycees back in the early 1950s and was a member of Williamsburg United Methodist Church.
A Williamsburg area resident for over 60 years, Mr. Watson was born August 16, 1920 in Pittsburgh to George H. Watson, Sr. and Eva Ramsey Watson. He was a graduate of Langley High School in Pittsburgh and Grove City College.
He was very proud of his service in the U.S. Army during World War II
, having served in North Africa and Italy, reaching the rank of Captain.
Following his return from the war, he married his high school sweetheart, Ruth C. Parfitt. After finishing his degree at Grove City, the couple moved to Williamsburg in 1949 where he helped manage his father's motel, the Carolynn Court on Richmond Road.
Although enjoying traveling over the years in their travel trailer, the Watsons' greatest passion was spending time at their mountain cabin in Highland County, Virginia. A plaque hung in the cabin that said "In the mountains we forget to count the days." Many of those days were spent with family and friends.
Mr. Watson was predeceased by his parents, his brother, Charles, and his beloved wife, Ruth, who passed away in 2010 after 64 years of marriage.
Mr. Watson is survived by two children: son, George H. Watson III and his wife, Connie; and daughter, Linda W. Abraham and her husband, Jerald; all of Williamsburg; two grandchildren, Christina W. Brookshire and her husband, Matthew of Asheville, N.C.; and John R. Abraham of Williamsburg; great-granddaughter, Anna Ruth Brookshire of Asheville; sisters-in-law, Joyce Watson of Roanoke and Betty Snee of Pittsburgh; and several nieces and nephews. He is also survived by special caregiver, Louise Norman of Newport News and very special friends, Bob and Dillina Stickley of Bridgewater.
The family offers its sincere and heartfelt gratitude to Dr. Laura Kerbin and the special staff at Peninsula Cancer Institute and to Dr. Patty Marcuson for their wonderful care of Mr. Watson during the last several years.
The family will receive friends from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. on Friday, November 2 at Nelsen Funeral Home, 3785 Strawberry Plains Rd, Williamsburg, with funeral services at Williamsburg United Methodist Church at 11 a.m. on Saturday, November 3. A reception will follow at the church. A private family burial will take place later at Williamsburg Memorial Park.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests expressions of sympathy take the form of donations to the James City County Fire Department (EMS), 5077 John Tyler Highway, Williamsburg, VA 23185 or to Williamsburg United Methodist Church, 500 Jamestown Road, Williamsburg, VA 23185. Online condolences may be expressed at www.nelsencares.com.