TORRINGTON – Richard “Bud” E. Watson, 86, of Torrington, passed away surrounded by his four children on Sunday, Jan. 15. Cremation has taken place. A celebration of life will be held on Friday, Jan. 20, 2 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church in Torrington.
Bud was born Aug. 20, 1936, in Lingle to Agnes (Jones) and Walter Watson. He graduated from Lingle in 1955 and went on to attend Goshen County Community College where he received his AA. He married Virginia Halstead of Torrington on June 30, 1957, at the Torrington Methodist Church. Bud and Virginia lived in Lusk before moving to Denver where he learned the refrigeration and air conditioning trade which became his career.
The family moved back to Torrington in 1966 and started Watson’s Refrigeration. In the early ‘70s, Bud took his career into teaching at Eastern Wyoming College where he started the college refrigeration vocational program. During this time, Bud was active in Jaycees and, in May 1971, joined the Torrington Volunteer Fire Department. While in the fire department he held many roles including Fire Chief during the ‘80s and early ‘90s. One of his favorite activities was helping to restore the 1934 Ford fire engine.
Bud’s love for nature and hunting was instilled in him by his grandfather and father which he passed on to his children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren as a family tradition. Many memorable days were made at the Running Water Ranch outside of Lusk as well as sitting in the goose pit. The only thing Bud loved more than hunting was his love for his Lord and Savior. Bud was very active in the All-Saints Episcopal Church, De Colores, and Saints and Sinners. Even as busy as he was, Bud was always willing to lend a helping hand to anyone in need.
Shortly after their 50th wedding anniversary, Virginia passed. Within the next year, one of Bud’s great granddaughters was diagnosed with leukemia. Seeing the financial and emotional stress this put on families, Bud’s vision for Gracie’s Promise was started by monies granted by “The seed” - a Foundation for the Episcopal Diocese of Wyoming. At the time of his passing, Gracie’s Promise has provided support to over 100 families in need. Bud was an accomplished local artist and active with the Southeast Art Association. His paintings were another source of his giving heart and have been used to raise money for numerous charities in and around Wyoming.
Bud is survived by his four children, daughter Brenda (Bill) Vance of Torrington; daughter Helen (Dan) Doherty of Douglasville, Georgia; daughter Karen Moore of Ellenton, Florida; and son David (Jodi) Watson of Hebron, Kentucky; nine grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren; brother Raymond (Della) Watson, brother Bill (Betty) Watson, and brother-in-law Jim Farmer. He was preceded in death by his wife, parents, nephew and sister Shirley Farmer.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Gracie’s Promise.