Harry Thomas Watson

September 4, 1922July 19, 2021
Obituary of Harry Thomas Watson
Harry Thomas Watson died at home, six weeks shy of his 99th birthday, on July 19, 2021. Born in Dallas September 4, 1922, the youngest son of William Thomas Watson and Nannie Herring Watson, he was raised in Ft. Worth, and graduated from Polytechnic (“Poly”) High School in May, 1940. He worked for two years as a clerk for the Texas Company (now Texaco), to help support his mother and sister after his father died in 1936, when Harry was only 14 years old. Because his older brother, Howard, was serving in the US Army in Europe, his mother convinced him to delay joining the service until he was 20. He joined the Army Air Corps (now the U.S. Air Force) and was assigned to the 613th Bomb Squad, 401st Bomb Group, of the 8th Army Air Corps. He was stationed in England at Deenethorpe Airfield situated in Northamptonshire near the village of Deene and was assigned navigator on the B-17 bomber “Little Pedro”. Harry flew 35 missions over France, the Netherlands, and Germany, and was awarded medals, including the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal. After completing his combat missions, he was admitted to pilot school stateside until the war ended. He was honorably discharged as a First Lieutenant. On June 6, 2019, the 75th Anniversary of D-Day, on the deck of the Battleship Texas, Harry was awarded the Legion of Honor Medal, France’s highest distinction awarded to US veterans who risked their lives during World War II fighting for France’s liberation. Four days after returning home after his discharge, Harry enrolled at the University of Texas on the GI Bill. He graduated with a degree in accounting. He married Mary Pate from Sulphur Springs, Texas, and had two daughters, Ann and Jill. After working as a CPA in East Texas (Kilgore and Longview), he and his family moved to Houston in 1960. As a CPA, Harry continued to work as a comptroller at several companies. In 1984 he became clinic manager of the Pediatric Medical Group and worked there until his retirement in 1997. Harry married Antoinette (Toni) Shimeall Arendale in 1981. Anyone who knew Harry will tell you he was a great husband, father, grandfather, friend, bridge player, tennis player, golfer, gardener, and Christian. He was devoted to Grace Presbyterian Church where he served for many years as an accountant volunteer and Trustee. During their 40-year marriage, Harry and Toni enjoyed numerous trips all over the world, and enjoyed the company of many wonderful friends. Harry was preceded in death by his two brothers, Floyd and Howard Watson; and his sister, Inez Watson Curry. He is survived by his sister, Kathryn Watson Mitcham; his daughters, Ann Watson Allison and her husband, Dr. Jay; and Jill Watson Ross and her husband Loren; his grandchildren, Dr. Andrew Allison and his wife Ashley, Abel Allison and his wife Emily, John Allison, Adam Ross and his wife Liz, and Kelly Ross Canova and her husband Travis; and six great grandchildren. He was devoted to his stepchildren, Myra Whitten, Bruce Arendale and his wife Lida and Karl Arendale and his wife Bea. He has 8 step grandchildren and 11 step great grandchildren whom he adored. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, July 31, 2021 at 2 p.m. at Grace Presbyterian Church Chapel. Face masks are encouraged and appreciated. The family would like to thank his wonderful caregivers, Vilma Amantine, Judy Aroyo, Adelina Ayala, Rosalinda Careaga, Prince Moses, Tammie Roberts, and Mary Vasquez. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the charity of your choice. To see a 56 minute video interview of Harry and his wartime reminiscences go to: Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at for the Watson family.

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Past Services

Saturday, July 31, 2021

Celebration of Life