Gary Stiles WATSON
1942 - 2020
Gary Stiles Watson, 78, formerly of Springfield, MA, passed away peacefully due to complications from Dementia and the COVID-19 virus on April 27, 2020. Gary was born in Hartford on March 3, 1942, son of the late Helen and Arthur Avery Watson. Gary grew up in Wethersfield, CT with 7 brothers and sisters, as well as numerous "Watson" uncles, aunts and cousins. After graduating Wethersfield High School, Gary attended Bates College where he gained numerous life-long friends. He graduated from University of Hartford in 1966. In 1969, he earned his M.Ed at Springfield College and began in the Teacher's Corps. He received his CAS in Counseling in 1974 at Springfield College as well. He had a passion for education. He was a respected English teacher in the Springfield, MA school district. He then became a guidance counselor at Classical High School, and finished his career as the Guidance Department Chair at Central High School in 2004 with almost 4 decades of mentoring students. As a member of the Western Massachusetts Counseling Association, he earned "Counselor of the Year" in 2001. He spent 15 summers working with the Summer Youth Employment Project and the MA Department of Employment and Training as a counselor. Over the years, he established life-long relationships with many of his students, including Ross and Elvis who continued to visit until his last days. He was the legal guardian for two of his students from Vietnam - Khanh Luu and Quoc Bao Tran. Boating was a passion and skill he learned as a child with his father and siblings. Gary loved the water and his regular trips to Cranberry Island, ME and Block Island, RI. Gary was an avid world traveler who enjoyed many trips to distant destinations, including South America, Asia, and Europe. Gary enjoyed celebrating birthdays and holidays with family and friends. He enjoyed gourmet food, fine wines, music and art/culture from all over the world. He was a sports enthusiast, a runner and a walker who loyally followed the New England Patriots and Boston Red Sox. He walked every day for many years with his good friend Gerry. Mostly he lived each day gratefully and humbly. He was a beloved role model to nieces, nephews and students. During retirement, Gary volunteered his time to the American Cancer Society, providing rides for central Massachusetts' cancer patients to and from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. Gary is survived by: his brother, Rev. Dr. Richard Watson (Susan), two sisters, Betty Anne Kottke (Al) and Judith Winer (David) and sister-in-law Wendy Watson. He is also survived by his sister-in-law, Leslie Watson and two nieces that supported him through his life, Anne Talcott Watson of Glastonbury and Amanda Watson Hicks (Robert) of South Glastonbury and their children Abigail Marie Hicks and Colby Watson Hicks, who he enjoyed visits from in his CT years. He leaves many other Watson nieces and nephews. In addition to his large family, he leaves dear friends. Besides his parents, Gary was pre-deceased by his siblings: Joyce Willsey (Bill), Eunice Crosen (George) and brothers, Robert G. Watson and Thomas P. Watson. Gary was very appreciative of the care and companionship he received from the staff at The Atrium of Rocky Hill. His family would like to extend their gratitude for their care and bravery during this challenging virus. A gathering of family and friends will be held to celebrate his life at a later date. Because we can't gather now, memories are encouraged to be shared at Memorial donations in Gary's memory may be done online at or be mailed to The Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts/Attn: Arthur and Helen Watson Scholarship Fund. This will provide scholarship money to graduating high school students from Springfield, MA.
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Published by Hartford Courant on Apr. 30, 2020.
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9 Entries
Mr Watson was a super person ,best guidance Counselor and mentor to many. RiP
DONALD Letendre
April 24, 2021
I knew Mr. Watson from Classical High, I graduated Class of 1984. Recently my year book was damaged and had to be disposed of. I found my 1984 Blue and White year book on sale from e-bay and when it arrived it had the name Watson on the side. I can only believe perhaps it was his? Anyways, I send my prayers and I am sorry for your loss, he was a nice person.
Fred Nelson
May 5, 2020
Mr. Watson was my guidance counselor at Central High School through 1987 - 1988. He helped calm my anxiety as a first generation college student when I was accepted at Springfield College. I fondly remember being nervous about going to college and specifically going to Springfield College. He shared with me that since I was accepted, that indicated that I was capable of doing the work and being a successful student. I appreciated his guidance and affirmation that gave me the confidence to excel in my Bachelor's, Master's and eventually my doctorate degree. Thanks Mr. Watson for your dedication and encouragement. I am grateful for your insight, motivation, and direction. May you rest in peace and I wish comfort, peace and fond memories for your family.
Anthony Hill
May 1, 2020
Thank you for all your dedication and hard work you put in to for all of us students. You will always be remembered and forever in our hearts. A true Friend / Mentor , you will be missed Mr Watson .
Elvis Diaz
April 30, 2020
Mr. Watson was my guidance counselor at Classical High School back in the early '80's. He helped me get accepted at Springfield College, which began my path and led me to a very successful and rewarding career. Thank you and may you rest in peace knowing the many lives you touched and changed.
Christopher Montagna
April 30, 2020
We thank you for all your guidance while attending Classical High. Class of 78 will never forget you!.
Don Letendre
April 30, 2020
A true gentleman, helped me get thru the high school challenges. R.I.P. Mr. Watson thank u for everything
April 30, 2020
Gary was one of the best educators I came in contact with during my years in the Springfield Public Schools. He was thoughtful, fair and considerate to all of us kids. He had such a personal touch that after 35 years has not ever been forgotten. Godspeed.
April 30, 2020
Missing you and keeping all of your memories alive for years to come xoxo
Diaz Family ❤
April 30, 2020
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