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Johnny H. Watson


1943 - 2013 Obituary Condolences
Johnny H. Watson Obituary
The mountains lost one of their own with the passing of Johnny H. Watson on Tuesday, June 18, 2013. Johnny was born Nov. 17, 1943, in Roswell to Johnny Herbert Slater Watson and Hallie Christine (Clark) Watson.
His childhood years were spent in the Roswell and Tatum area until moving to Mayhill in 1963. At this time, Johnny found work on various ranches and with the Forest Service until he began logging in 1967.
In 1971, he married his lifelong partner, Edna Elaine Potter. They welcomed two children to their marriage, Ridge Lee in 1976 and Cressie Elaine in 1977. An almost fatal logging accident in 1977 ended his logging career.
He gained employment in 1978 with Penasco Valley Telephone Cooperative and remained with them for 25 years until his retirement in 2003 - being the only employee at that time to complete a full 25 years. He began as a basic lineman/service technician and attained the position of area supervisor for the Mayhill and Hondo Valley exchange. He was instrumental in overseeing construction of the Mayhill Area Customer Service Center.
In 1993, Johnny and Elaine inherited her family's small ranch that had been in the family since the late 1800s. He spent many afternoons and weekends in Burnt Canyon checking on the cows. If he ever turned up missing, you could just about bet to find him off feeding cake to his herd somewhere.
Johnny enjoyed 10 years of retirement, fulfilling many of his lifelong goals. He and Elaine traveled to Alaska three times, which was supposed to have been a once-in-a-lifetime trip. He loved the outdoors, hunting, fishing, camping and spending time with his family.
Always a pickup man, he bought a Jeep and gained a new interest in exploring the Jeep trails and mining camps of Colorado with his family. Johnny was very proud of his endowment membership with the NRA. As much as he loved to hunt, he found more love in sharing his knowledge of hunting with his kids and grandkids, who have all carried on the family tradition.
One of his most prized possessions was his large collection of firearms. He went through many rounds of ammo in his lifetime, spending afternoons shooting with the guys. His hunt-of-a-lifetime trophy mule deer hangs in the family home alongside the article published in Eastman's Hunting Journal detailing the hunt he went on with his son Ridge and longtime hunting partner Sam Reno, of Artesia.
Johnny was a man of his word, quiet but worth listening to when he did have something to say. He always did what he told you he would do and never shied away from helping any of his buddies who needed a hand. He is leaving behind quite a legacy to his grandchildren with his way of life and strong character.
In his final days, he was surrounded by the love and attention of his family.
Survivors include his wife, Elaine, of the family home; daughter Dorinda Unterseher and husband, Wade, of Hazen, N.D.; son Ridge and his wife, Joni, with their children Kagen and Jesi, of Mayhill; daughter Cressie and her husband, Dwayne, of Mayhill; sister Christeen Wade, of EI Paso; nephew Richard Wade, of EI Paso; and great-niece Rikki Estrada and husband, Danny, and their daughter Iris, of Las Cruces.
Johnny was preceded in death by his parents Herb and Christine Watson; and son-in-law Neil W. Mitchell.
Should friends desire, memorial contributions may be made to the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation or the New Mexico Children's Home in Portales.
Pallbearers are Sam Reno, Gary McClain, Wade McClain, William Rogers, Bill Thompson and Clifton (Bub) Varbel.
Honorary pallbearers are Bill Leonard, Donald Derrick, John Able, Wayne Miller and Bob Wright.
The funeral service will be conducted at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, June 22, 2013, at Mayhill Baptist Church with Eddy Coleman and Jimmy Derrick officiating.
Burial will follow at Mayhill Cemetery.
The Watson family has entrusted their beloved "Papa" to the care of Hamilton O'Dell Funeral Home to direct the funeral services.
To sign the online register book, please visit www.hamiltonodell.com.
Published in Alamogordo Daily News from June 19 to June 26, 2013
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