Jesse Israel Watts, 82, was born Oct. 28, 1939, in Cedar County to Jess and Bernice Watts. He went home to be with the Lord on June 21, 2022.
After graduation, Jesse joined the U.S. Navy. He spent three of four years on a troop transport ship, the USS General William Mitchell. He spoke of his time in the service with fond memories. After an honorable discharge in 1964, he returned home to his job at the International Shoe Company and his first love working on the family farm. He loved being a farmer and the country life. He respected nature and was adamant about not destroying the hay fields by carelessly driving through them.
In August 1965 he met his soul mate and future wife, Joyce, on a blind date. When Jesse proposed he gave Joyce a small matchbox that held her ring inside. They were married Dec. 11, 1965. This year would have been 57 years of marriage. To this union four children were born: Beth, Lorie, Jodi and Matthew.
The summer of 1967, Jesse went into construction, working on the Stockton Dam. His father-in-law talked him into joining the Carpenters Union. Jesse continued working as a carpenter until his retirement.
Jesse was very involved in community work being interested in the betterment of our area. His many involvements included: President of Band Boosters, president of our local youth fair, he served as the chairman of County Extension, 4-H volunteer, committee chairman for FFA Alumni and he served as the Presiding commissioner for Cedar County for four years. The greatest accomplishment was helping start the Olympia Rural Fire Department. It is where he served as Fire Chief until his health declined and his son Matthew took over.
His greatest love in life were his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. He spent many hours preparing them for life. From youth fairs, band trips and to ball games. Everything they were involved in was a great joy to him. All he ever wanted for any gift was their presence and to share a meal. Whether it was a bologna sandwich or friend chicken or angel food cake. Jesse and Joyce were buried with Christ in baptism together in October 1969, at Jerico Springs Church. Currently Jesse was a member and held the position of Decan at 1st Christian Church in El Dorado Springs where he attended regularly until his health declined.
Preceding him in death were his parents, Jess and Bernice Watts; brothers, Tom and Raymond Watts; half-brothers, John Watts and Eldy Richardson; father and mother-in-law, Ernest and LaVon Masten; brother-in-law, Don Masten; sister-in-laws, Shirley (Snook) Ridgway, Janet Watts and Rita Mae Guthrie, and grandsons, Samuel Hacker, and Lawson Watts.
Jesse is survived by his wife, Joyce, of the home; daughters, Beth (Roger), Lorie (Troy), Jodi (Andy); and son, Matthew (Jenny), grandchildren, Jessica (Jamie), Jonielle, Miranda (Kody) Madison, Montana (Libby), Jesse (Haley), Wyatt (Breanna), Trey (Josie), Olivia, Braxton, Camden, Raelynn, Trevin and Emberlyn; great grandchildren, Alexus (Peyton), Natalie, Tyson, Ayden, Naudia, Alek, and Jaxon, as well as a host of family and friends.
Music was “Even Thought I’m Leaving,” “Daddy’s Hands,” “Stroll Across Heaven With You” and “Grandpa.”
Casket bearers: Wyatt graves, Montana Hacker, Jamie Trout, Trey Graves, Braxton Watts and Kody Souza.
Honorary casket bearers: Jesse Comeau, Trevin Watts, Jaxon Souza, Camden Watts, Tyson Neal, Ayden Bruce and Alek Bruce.
Services for Jesse Watts was Saturday, June 25, at Sheldon Funeral Home, El Dorado Springs with military honors; United States Navy and El Dorado Springs VFW. Rev. Brent Bland officiated. Interment was in Love Cemetery, El Dorado Springs.

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