Harvey Woodson Watt Jr.
Atlanta - Harvey Woodson Watt, Jr., 76, passed away surrounded by family on January 7, 2021 in his Atlanta, Georgia home after a battle with cancer. Born October 27, 1944 in Gainesville, Florida, he was the son of late Mr. Harvey Woodson Watt, Sr. and Mrs. Mae Hampton Watt.
Harvey graduated high school from Georgia Military Academy, college from Marion Military Institute, and flight school from Fort Rucker. A combat veteran, Harvey served two tours flying Cobra helicopters in the Can Tho province with the 235 Attack Helicopter Company. During his two tours, he proved to be a talented pilot who was assigned to fly medical evacuation and became the first pilot to successfully roll an A123 Bell Helicopter. Harvey received numerous medals, including but not limited to, multiple Purple Hearts, the Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star with Valor, and Air Medal with Valor. Harvey was honorably discharged in 1969 as a Chief Warrant Officer 3. After the War, Harvey worked alongside his father at Harvey W. Watt & Co. providing professional pilot disability insurance.
A renowned conversationalist, avid hunter, and sharpshooter (he successfully recreated Billy Dixon's 19th century black powder long range shot), Harvey made lifetime friends wherever he went. He cherished his friends and memories from multiple hunts, such as The Grand National Waterfowl Hunt, the Kansas Governor's One Shot Turkey Hunt, and the Lander One Shot Antelope Hunt. Harvey was charitable with his friendship and his treasure. He has purchased countless lifetime hunting licenses for children, served on numerous boards, including serving multiple terms as President of the Riverbend Gun Club, and was known to be an active participant in many fundraising auctions.
Harvey was the family protector. He taught his son how to shoot, tell stories, and look out for friends. As a girl dad, he met his daughter's suitors with gun cleaner solvent soaked hands and carried a Derringer down the aisle. Harvey always looked after his sister and would respond quicker than the police or security company any time her alarm went off. He loved his nephew as a son including him on dinners, hunts, and marathon story times. Harvey made sure he took his five year old grandson shooting for the first time and successfully passed on the love for the family hobby. Mostly, Harvey was a shoulder to lean on and a bear to hug whether you were related by blood or not.
Harvey is survived by his son, Harvey W. Watt, III, of Anchorage, Alaska; his daughter, Mary Katherine Watt Tinsley and son-in-law, Charles T. Tinsley, IV, of Atlanta, Georgia; his three beloved grandchildren, Davis Charles Tinsley, Evelyn Mae Tinsley, and Emma Katherine Tinsley; his sister, Helen Watt Alston; and his nephew, Robin Hampton Alston, and Robin's wife, Elisabeth Foster Alston.
Private services will be held on January 16, 2021 with a celebration of life for friends to be planned after the pandemic. In lieu of flowers, the family respectfully requests that donations be made in his name to the Grand National Waterfowl Hunt to further provide lifetime hunting licenses for children.
"I'm not worried about it."
Published in Gainesville Sun from Jan. 12 to Jan. 13, 2021.