OBITUARY

Kenneth Eugene Watje

June 12, 1944September 8, 2019
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Kenneth Eugene Watje, 75, of Turlock, CA passed away September 8, 2019. He was born in Riverside, CA on June 12, 1944. While being in the Army Reserves, Ken graduated from Mt. San Antonio College where he was the assistant farm manager for seven years. In 1971 he moved to Salinas and began managing a cow/calf and grain ranch until 1977 when he started teaching for the Salinas Union High School District. He studied and earned his teaching credential from Cal Poly, SLO. He retired after 32 years of teaching and until recently enjoyed working alongside his son at W-D Swine Farm. He grew up in a farming family where he learned numerous aspects of agriculture and hands-on farming. He helped on the family farm with everything from irrigation to planting & harvesting various crops, raising livestock, and agriculture mechanics.

He had a passion for high quality livestock. He loved evaluating and analyzing any type of stock. He would sit the barn or near a pasture and study animals for hours. He loved spending time with his family. His children and grandchildren were the light of his life!

Kenneth is survived by his wife, Katherine Theresa Watje, and his daughter Madelynn Kay Kerlee, (Chip Kerlee), his son Ryan Eugene Watje (Stacey Watje) and grandchildren, Kyle Kerlee, Lexy Watje, Aaron Kerlee, Trent Watje, Drew Watje and Stella Watje, brothers Raymond Watje and Joe Watje (Emily).

In lieu of flowers donations can be made in Ken Watje’s name to: CA FFA FOUNDATION Mail to: CA FFA Foundation P.O. Box 186 Galt, CA 95632

Services

  • Memorial Service Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Memories

Kenneth Eugene Watje

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Earl & Sharon McDougall

September 17, 2019

Our deepest sympathy on the passing of Ken
His love for teaching was so obvious , he gave so much but in returned expect the same.
As a parent I do believe each student became a better person just being around him
We too enjoy the yrs with Watjie family
Kathy, Maddi , Ryan & family please know
Your family will be in our prayers
Earl&Sharon McDougall

Laurie Ladine

September 16, 2019

We are so sorry for this loss in your family. Ken was loved by you all and it shows. We are here for you for whatever you need. We hope his memory fills your hearts and the knowing he is with our Lord, gives you peace.

With Love,
Laurie Ladine and Family

Gary Robinson

September 14, 2019

Kathy, Maddi, Ryan and family:

My sincere condolences for your/our loss of Ken. Ken was one of the best, nicest, and sincere men that I have met in my long lifetime.

He was a family man, and, a great mentor. Always interested in assisting and guiding youth to help make their world more positive and them, a better person.

Ken will definitely be missed.

Gary Robinson

Elizabeth Man

September 14, 2019

To the Watje Family, my prayers are with you and so sorry for your loss. He was one of my favorite teachers back in the 80's at Salinas High who taught me so much about how to care for big and small livestock when I was thinking of pursing the possibility of becoming a Veternarian or helping animals one day. Plus, he got me to volunteer my time at the S.P.CA. and I loved it! The lessons and skills he taught me, are still with me today and so blessed for it too. I remember when he would take a small group of us to the farm and help out and teach. He was such an amazing teacher and friend to me. Blessings to you and your family and loved ones on this sad day. I know he touched many that came into his path and were blessed by him too!.! 🙏😇

Michell Pitman-Turpin

September 13, 2019

I was a student in the early 80’s of Mr.Watje. Spending time out back in the Ag.building were some of my best high school memories. Mr.Watje was a great teacher and touched so many peoples lives. Condolences to all of the family. Class of 83

Lori Mattingly-Woodcock

September 13, 2019

Dear Watje Family,
I'm sorry for your loss of your husband, brother, father and grandpa. Thank you for your years of sharing him with others. Mr. Watje truly believed in the future of farming. We are all better people for knowing him. Prayers, Lori Mattingly-Woodcock

Linda (Robbins) Zohns

September 13, 2019

Mike and I are so sad to read of Ken’s passing today.
When my brother and I joined 4-H in Riverside, our neighbor suggested the Alvord Aggies 4-H club. The Watjes were the leaders. The whole family was always very welcoming to all the members when we gathered at their ranch.
I will always remember our great times showing our Angus cattle at the fairs in S. Cal. during our 4-H days. Prayers to the Watje family.

Britta Midtgaard Fletcher

September 13, 2019

Ken was a teacher when I showed in 4-H and FFA at the Salinas Valley Fair. Although he was not my advisor, I admired his calm, friendly, and quiet demeanor and,of course, the quality of his family’s black cattle. He was one of those formative people in my childhood who probably didn’t even know how his presence influenced me. I’ve gone on to be an Ag teacher, too, now in year 27 due to the “greats” in those early years. My condolences to the whole Wajte family.

Tammy Grier

September 12, 2019

I’m so sorry to hear this he was one of my daughters greatest teacher. She learned so much from him. RIP. The Grier family

Joe Sabol

September 12, 2019

Ken and I worked together at Mt. San Antonio College, Walnut CA. for many years. He was "assistant farm manager" and had a gift for taking good care of livestock. He had a great work ethic and a super positive attitude. Ken and I took a long trip together, bought a bunch of "project steers" for students at Mt. SAC. We drove from Walnut to Susanville, bought the steers and hauled them back to Mt. SAC. Long trip and many fond memories with Ken At Mt.SAC. He went on to become a very effective high school agriculture teacher in Salinas... touched many lives!! So sad to know of his passing.

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