John Robert Watt, 90, passed away June 16, 2014, at Kindred Transitional Care in Westfield, after suffering a yearlong decline following treatments for skin cancer. Born May 21, 1924, to Jack and Julia Watt in Independence, MO., John spent the last 50 years in the greater Indianapolis area. He was married to wife, Elaine for 65 years and had seven children; 13 grandchildren; and 10 great-grandchildren.
Known as “Johnny Bob” to many, he grew up on a large farm in Jackson Co., Mo. and graduated from William Chrisman High School. He was active in 4-H and the ROTC. A veteran of WWII, John served in the Army Medical Corps as a surgical tech in Panama from 1942-1945.
Following his marriage to Elaine Harris in 1946, the couple moved to Manhattan, KS., to attend Kansas State where John graduated in 1950 with a BS in Animal Husbandry. He then moved to Ellis, KS., where he taught returning GI’s in the vocational agriculture program. John began his career as a product information specialist for Massey-Ferguson in Omaha, NE, in 1954. Subsequent transfers took the family to Wichita, KS, Toronto, Ontario and finally Indianapolis in 1964.
After Massy-Ferguson closed their local offices, John worked in sales for Long Manufacturing from 1971-1981. After retiring, John continued to stay busy with working for Sharp Brothers, American Greetings and Exciting Liting, where he got to do what he did best – engage with people using his encyclopedic technical knowledge as he helped them. As “empty nesters” John and Elaine moved from the east side of Indianapolis to McCordsville in 1989.
John was an active member of Irvington Presbyterian Church for over 50 years and a Master Mason of 54 years at the Vester G. Brown Lodge #433. In retirement he stayed intellectually engaged in the Parhesean Club, Scottish Rite Cathedral and the Indiana Council on World Affairs. He was a frequent patron of the local arts, a world traveler and relentless volunteer.
He is survived by his daughter, Heather (John) Dietz; sons, Gavin D. (Toni) Watt, George (Billie Jene) Watt, Andy Watt and Robert (Caroline) Watt; and sister, Alice Lee Doane.
John was preceded in death by his wife, Elaine; son, Scott; daughter, Jean Snow; daughter-in-law, Carol Watt; and brother, Gavin O. Watt.
Visitation will take place from 4-7 p.m. on Monday, June 30, 2014, at Irvington Presbyterian Church, 55 Johnson Avenue. A memorial service will be held 11 a.m. at the church on Tuesday, July 1, 2014, with visitation beginning at 10:00 a.m.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be sent in honor of John and Elaine Watt to Irvington Presbyterian Church, 55 Johnson Ave., Indianapolis, IN 46219.
Arrangements are entrusted to Shirley Brothers Irving Hill Chapel.