Clyde F. Watts died peacefully on October 7, 2020 in Vermillion, South Dakota at the age of 96.

He was born to William and Rossa Watts June 7, 1924 in Stanton, NE.

Clyde is survived by his wife Jean Watts; Son John (Judy) Watts, Piedmont SD; Son Robert Watts, Rapid City SD; Son Michael (Sandy) Watts, Spirit Lake IA; Grandchildren Jeremy (Florence) Watts, Parker CO; Jesse Watts, Yankton SD; Nick Watts, Spirit Lake IA, Alex Watts, Spirit Lake IA; Rebecca Watts, Rapid City SD; and great granddaughter Karlee Watts, Parker CO.

He is preceded in death by his 5 siblings and son Tony.

Clyde and Jean were married in April of 1950 and spent every anniversary together. Due to Covid restrictions, their 70-year anniversary was a bit more challenging. The Vermillion Nursing home staff helped arrange a meeting with Jean, who is currently a resident of Sanford Care Center.

At 13 years of age Clyde was on his own working at a munitions plant in Omaha Nebraska. A few years later he joined the Army during World War II where he later transferred to the Army Air Corps (Air Force). After the war he attended college in Ft. Collins Colorado and Wayne Nebraska where he met Jean.

He worked as an Electrician in Wayne a few years prior to moving to Vermillion, to be an employee at Central Natural Gas co. in 1959. He managed the Gas Company until 1975 when Minnegasco Corporation bought out Central Natural. He was promoted to a district supervisor and had 7 towns to manage. He always took his job very seriously and was always so concerned of an uninterrupted natural gas supply for customers; he wanted to make sure all had warm houses to live in. His old standing joke was “I kept thousands of women warm over the years!” He retired in 1990 and enjoyed 30 years of retirement.

Through his working career and somewhat after, he was on the board of directors for the Vermillion hospital. He was a founding member and treasurer for the Clay county park association. 1962 thru 1994 he was an active volunteer fireman, and then from 1994 until 2019 he was a volunteer kitchen assistant for the active volunteer fireman. He was involved with the VFW, Rotary, Masonic lodge, etc.

Clyde had many talents and was very mechanically inclined. He had a wonderful mind for electricity and all the wonder it brought to the 20th century. He enjoyed hunting, boating, fishing, camping and just being in the great outdoors. He enjoyed many weekends at their house on the Missouri river. Computers from the onslaught in the 80’s to contemporary lap tops he understood and used them with much enjoyment. Photography for him was a lifelong interest that he enjoyed immensely. He also spent a lot of time learning Morse code and operating ham radio equipment under the call letters of NOBPC. In his later years he was very interested in raising and releasing Monarch Butterflies. He also very much enjoyed the comradery of his afternoon coffee break crew.

He was a wonderful loving husband, father, father in law, grandfather, and great grandfather. He will be greatly missed.

A celebration of life will be held from 5-7 p.m. Friday, October 23 at the Hansen Funeral Home in Vermillion, SD with burial of ashes at the Black Hills National Cemetery at a later date.

Visit HansenFuneralHome.com.

Yankton Press & Dakotan

October 13, 2020