Bernard R “Herb” Watson

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Bernard R “Herb” Watson passed away peacefully on Nov. 11, at Greenway Manor.


Herb was born May 27, 1922, to George and Ellen (Kane) Watson, in Seneca. He was engaged in farming when he married Eleanor Lucey on June 29, 1944, at Rising Sun. Herb and Eleanor enjoyed a 65-year marriage before Eleanor preceded him in death on Nov. 3, 2009. 


For several years he was employed by the G.C. Lucey Company before purchasing his own IGA grocery store in Gays Mills. He operated the “family grocery” for 22 years before becoming a rural mail carrier - Rural Route 2, Gays Mills. Herb had many interests with his primary interest being serving and helping others. 


He was elected Gays Mills Village President for six consecutive terms. During his twelve years as Mayor, he worked diligently to promote and protect the village (from the Kickapoo) and the residents he so loved. 


Herb was a recipient of the Friend to Education from North Crawford Schools in 1975. His voice could be heard booming through the PA system as announcer at every Friday night football game. He was a member of the Viroqua Country Club and made a hole-in-one on number 4. He was a proud member of the Lions Club and recipient of the Melvin Jones Fellow award for 50 years of dedicated service.


Herb and Eleanor retired to Hot Springs Village, Ark., in 1988, where they enjoyed 15 years of meeting new friends and golfing. Not one to really retire, Herb took a part time job at the local Stop N’ Shop, marshaled on the golf course, and helped a local auctioneer with sales. After returning to Madison in 2003, they were members of the Coventry Village and All Saints communities. Greenway Manor became his final home. The family extends deep appreciation to all the wonderful caregivers in those communities.


Survivors include two daughters and four sons: Daniel, of LaCrescent, Minn., and Mazatlan, Mexico, Mary Watson Burke (Gerry), of Milwaukee, Greta Watson, of New York City, Michael, of Madison, Gregory (Elizabeth), of Arlington Heights, Ill., and Roger (Kim), of Stamford, Conn.; and four grandchildren, Anna, Clare, Daniel and Jack.


He was preceded in death by his wife and two brothers, Donald Watson and Gregory Watson.


A memorial Mass will be celebrated at a future date, yet to be determined, and will be announced. Memorials in Herb’s name may be made to North Crawford School District. Online condolences may be offered at The Vosseteig Funeral Home in Gays Mills is serving the family.


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