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James Robert Watson

March 29, 1943 — June 20, 2024

Roswell, New Mexico

James Robert Watson

Jim went to be with Jesus peacefully in his home with his wife Iris by his side on June 20, 2024, after a long battle with cancer.

Jim was born on March 29, 1943, in St. Paul, Minnesota to Lillian and James Watson. They moved to Sebeka, Minnesota when he was an infant to be near Lillian's family and relatives. His father, a chef, owned "Jim's Cafe" where family, locals and vacationers gathered for the best tasting meals, especially during the holidays. There, he grew up fishing, hunting, and riding horses for transportation, roaming the creeks, rivers and lakes with his closest buddies, at times approaching the mischievous. They were a close-knit family and he cultivated lifelong friendships with his fellow schoolmates. He always traveled back to class reunions, calling Sebeka his hometown.

The family regretfully had to move to Minneapolis due to his father's health, which he succumbed to while Jim was a teenager. Feeling adrift and out of place in Minneapolis, he joined the US Air Force serving at McClellan Air Force Base in Sacramento, California. He repaired and maintained the airplanes and drove the "Follow Me" truck to guide airplanes in and out of the flight line.

He married young and was blessed with two beautiful children, Kimberlee and James Jr. He taught them both to love and respect the outdoors and nature. They got to enjoy many outings to fish, hunt, sail, hike, backpack and camp, often in the Hoover Wilderness area and Folsom Lake in California. After the Air Force, he became licensed in the real estate business, earning many million-dollar top seller awards over the years. He loved "knocking on doors" and getting to know people who not only called him when they wanted to sell their home but became friends. Being an adventurer, he completed truck driving school and changed careers. He loved driving the big rigs and running with the big dogs.

Jim married Iris in September 1993 in Bernardsville, North Carolina in the picturesque Smoky Mountains. They then moved to Sebeka Minnesota and started their life together in Jim's hometown. His dad was still fondly remembered for his great meals by many who knew him back in the day. Jim continued driving milk trucks and semi-trucks, while enjoying the fishing and hunting and reacquainting with family and old friends again. He and Iris spent as much time on the lakes fishing as they could in their old fishing boat. He traveled to Finland several times getting to know cousins and relatives on his mother's side. Once more adventure called, and they moved to Carlsbad, NM in 2004. They turned an old rundown, empty mobile home park into a much desired 92 space RV park. Working side by side, day after day, they repaired, maintained, and manicured the grounds until beautiful again.

Jim and Iris moved to Roswell in 2014, calling it home. Not ready to retire, Jim found Harvest Ministries as a fulfilling and fun place to volunteer. He made many new dear friends and was faithfully dedicated to serving the community through their programs for those in need. Under the tutelage of Pastor Mark Green, he found the Lord, studied the Torah and the geography of the Holy Land. He and Iris were baptized at Lea Lake on a hot summer day.

If Jim called you a friend, you knew it. He would call you and stay in contact over the years from early childhood to old age. Jim loved life, he loved people, loved to travel and was a terrific storyteller. He held his love for his family and friends very close to his heart.

He is survived by his devoted wife, Iris; daughter, Kimberlee Cote of Grass Valley, CA; son, James Watson, Jr. of Roswell; granddaughter, Kendra Cote of Fairfield, CA; brother, Frank Watson of Farmington, MN; sister, Rosemary Norton (Al) of Minnetonka, MN; brother, Al Watson (Janene) of Montgomery, TX; sister, Cheryl Watson-Peterson (Steve) of Circle Pines, MN; stepdaughters: Cas Lograsso (Mark) of Fairfield, CA, and Kelly Wilson (Louis) of Chico, CA. He is also survived by extended family.

In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts can be made to Harvest Ministries, P. O. Box 3993 Roswell, NM 88202 or 601 N. Main Street, Roswell, M 88201 A Memorial Service will be on July 26, 11 AM, at Christ Church, 2200 N. Sycamore, Roswell, NM.

To order memorial trees in memory of James Robert Watson, please visit our tree store.


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