Richard Allen Watt, a man of great faith, passed away on June 8, 2018. A loving father and grandfather, he will be missed by many. He was born the youngest of four children on August 19, 1926 in Portland, Oregon to William B and Florence R (Nelson) Watt.
During the Great Depression, Richard’s family moved so his father could find work at various lumber mills in the Northwest and Colorado. His father died when Richard was five. The family moved several times, ending up in a Portland apartment. Richard was sent to live and work at a farm owned by distant relatives in Pleasant Valley, Oregon. Richard attended Grant High School, graduating in 1944. He enlisted in the Army Air Corps, serving in World War II. Following that, he enrolled at Oregon State College. During his college years, he met his future wife, Norma Jean Helsby who he married in August of 1949. After graduating with a degree in Chemistry in 1951, he began employment at Dow Chemical in Michigan as an Analytic Chemist. A year later, he returned to the northwest and accepted a job with Crown Zellerbach (CZ) in Camas, WA, doing research work for the paper industry for two years. Then they relocated to Oregon City so Richard could work at CZ in West Linn where he became a member of a unique research group.
Richard and Norma had three children: Douglas, Laura, and Bryan. The family spent much time at the Oregon coast, including every weekend for years following their purchase of a home in Cannon Beach in 1968. Richard was a supportive and encouraging father, involved in his children’s competitive swimming. He was also an assistant scoutmaster for his sons’ Boy Scout troop. He retired from CZ in 1982, allowing for memorable travel and family time. This was a particular blessing because it gave him time with Norma before she passed away in 1989.
After several years, Richard began a new chapter by moving to a smaller house in Oregon City. His first grandchild, Isaac, was born in 1998. Seven additional grandchildren followed: Isaac’s siblings Olivia, Ian, Ashlyn, and Evelyn to Bryan and Shannon; Rebekah and Samuel to Laura; and Hannah to Douglas and Katie.
Richard was involved in his church, and he was a strong prayer warrior. He lived out the Scripture he claimed as a lifetime verse: “Rejoice always, pray unceasingly, in everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18.
Some interests appeared later in his life. He started taking saxophone lessons at a surprisingly late age. Also, he became involved in a writing class which inspired him to produce a book called “80 Years of Memories”. He enjoyed spending time with family, playing golf, going for “coffee with the guys”, telling stories, shopping at Fred Meyer, and taking walks. His current routine of walking seven blocks every weekday continued until the end. To quote Richard, “God gets the glory.”
Richard was predeceased by his parents and all three of his siblings and his wife of almost forty years, Norma. He is survived by his three children and their spouses: Douglas (Katie), Laura (Scott), and Bryan (Shannon) as well as by his eight grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and countless friends. He was much-loved and will be missed. Richard Watt, a good and faithful servant, is being celebrated in Heaven for a job well done on earth, in the loving arms of his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
A committal with military honors at Willamette National Cemetery will take place on Tuesday, June 19th, at 10:00 am.
A memorial service will take place on Saturday, June 30th at 10:30 at Stone Creek Christian Church in Oregon City.