Henry Watts

August 8, 1936January 4, 2021

Henry Richard Watts, also known by family and friends as “Richard,” “Rick,” or “Dick,” died January 4, 2021, at the age of 84. A life-long resident of Rockford, IL, Henry was born on August 8, 1936. He graduated from Harlem High School and then attended Emmanuel Missionary College (now known as Andrews University) to study history. While in his first year at EMC, he received draft orders for the U.S. Army, which took him to Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, TX. After serving two years in the army, he received an honorable discharge and returned to college. During a trip back home to Rockford, he was introduced to Vernita Higgs. After a short courtship, the two married on August 26, 1962, and remained married for 54 years until her death in 2017. Henry worked for Kishwaukee Auto Parts for over 40 years as the bookkeeper and a sales representative. As a member of the Rockford Seventh-day Adventist Church for more than 75 years, he served his church in many roles, including elder, deacon, Sabbath School Teacher, and finance committee member. He enjoyed discussing world events, analyzing the ups and downs of the stock market, and reading books about history and politics. Henry was predeceased by his wife Vernita Higgs Watts. He is survived by his daughter, LaNita Beth Watts Zeiss (Michael) of Calhoun, GA; three grandchildren, Zachary, Alexander, and Zoe Zeiss of Calhoun, GA; brother David Watts (Deanna) of Rockford, IL, and many nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews. Due to COVID restrictions, a memorial service will be held at a later date. Memorial gifts may be made to A Quiet Hour Ministries or Amazing Facts Ministry. To share a condolence, visit


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Henry Watts

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Patricia Karp

January 14, 2021

I remember the time Dick and I with our son Michael visited Galena, Illinois with Henry, Vernita,& Beth. Petersons came along. We had a wonderful time. They were a very gracious couple. Enjoyed their friendship!

Teresa Serna

January 13, 2021

So many wonderful conversations with Vernita and Dick over the years at church and their home. This world has lost two very special people 💔 😢

Don Sonneson

January 12, 2021

Henry and I shared Mrs Kissel's classes at Harlem Village school. David and my brother were in Mrs. Thomas' class. We all called him "Dickie" at that time. This was a great time.
I went to visit him this last summer and we toured memory spots for him and me. I truly enjoyed our visit. As I was getting ready to leave he started advising me what stocks t o invest in.
You have every right to be proud of him and I am glad I knew him.

David Burmeister

January 10, 2021

LaNita, I am very sorry for your loss. Your father was a very happy man. Your parents were always supportive of you and so proud of your accomplishments and your family. You are a very lucky young lady. Kindest regards to you and your precious family.
D. Burmeister

Arleta Juliano

January 7, 2021

Beth and family. Lee and I were so sorry to learn of your Dad’s passing. Every time we saw him he treated us like we were his long lost best friends, such a warm and friendly man. He and your mom were such a wonderful couple together. I will never forget how “beyond excited “ they were when you were born and how proud they were of the woman you have become. I know they both will be missed but forever in your heart.

Bob Munrow

January 7, 2021

I can remember back to the first time I visited Abees to buy some auto parts and Henry waited on me. Such a kind Gentleman. He always helped me as best He could. I can remember waiting in line for him to wait on me compared to some of the others because He treated me so good and helpful

Rena and Jerry Snyder

January 6, 2021

Henry and Vernita were very special people. Henry was a good friend for many years and will be missed dearly. Our sympathy to you LaNita and your family.
Jerry and Rena

L'Tanga Johnson

January 6, 2021

The Johnson Family is in prayer and offers our sincere condolences to Beth, Dave and the entire family! Our parents were the best of friends and were always supportive of one another! I have so many pleasant memories with Uncle Rick. He always gave me an encouraging word and was an excellent husband, father, grandfather, brother and friend! I will miss visiting and speaking with him! God Bless you Uncle Rick! Rest in God's loving arms. We love you!