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1918 Robert 2015

Robert Burton Watson

October 9, 1918 — May 30, 2015

Robert B. Watson passed away Saturday afternoon, May 30, 2015 at home. He was 96. He was born October 9, 1918, in Kalamazoo, Michigan. He graduated from Kalamazoo College with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics. On July 12, 1946, Robert was united in marriage to Ella M. Sanborn. They were married for 69 years. Following a 20­year stint as a cost accountant for Sutherland Paper Company in Kalamazoo, Robert opened his own leather repair and tack shop, Watson Leather Products, from which he finally retired at 91. A master leather artist, his hand carved leather work placed him among the top leather craftsmen in the United States. A life­long learner, Robert read voraciously, becoming a self­taught expert on his myriad interests. One fascination, blacksmithing, led him to establish his own blacksmithing forge specializing in ornamental iron work. Age held no caution for him. At 62 having become interested in wooden sailboats and sailing, he single­handedly restored a 29­foot, classic, wooden sailboat and learned to sail. He also wrote books, painted, gardened, walked everywhere, and loved to travel. Fiercely individual, Robert was smart, creative, and perpetually curious; a beloved lifestyle model for his entire family. Surviving Robert are his two daughters Sarah (David) Yentz and Roberta Wunderlich both of Ann Arbor; four grandchildren, Dr. Jeffrey Yentz, Dr. Sarah Yentz, Stephan Wunderlich, Britta Wunderlich, and his great granddaughter Hayden Yentz. There will be no public service or visitation. Interment will be in Riverside Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to the Michigan Maritime Museum, 260 Dyckman Ave., South Haven, MI 49090. michiganmaritimemuseum.org Arrangements by Parchment Redmond Funeral Home, 2300 E. "G" Ave. Parchment, MI 49004, (269)349-7735. www.redmondfuneralhomes.net
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