Bruce Randall Watts
April 13, 1943 – July 3, 2019
Bruce Randall Watts, aged 76, died July 3rdat Saint Mary’s Hospital Trauma Center in West Palm Beach, Florida from complications following a fall. He was a resident of Palm Beach, having lived in Newport and Portsmouth, Rhode Island; Boston, Massachusetts and New York City. The son of Captain (USN) Charles R. Watts and Nancy Ware Watts, Bruce was born on April 13, 1943 in Washington, DC, and graduated from Saint Stephen’s School in Alexandria, Virginia (Class of 1961) where he played on the golf team, and the University of Virginia (BA, 1965). Following post-graduate studies in 1966, he was commissioned a U.S. Naval officer, serving in Vietnam and aboard destroyers in the Atlantic Fleet. He served two tours in USS Newport News, the last of the wooden deck heavy cruisers, deployed in Northern Europe and then in Vietnam during the Vietnam War. In 1967, he married Susan Jane Baker in Alexandria, Virginia. In 1968, Bruce’s orders sent him to Newport, Rhode Island, where he, his wife Susan, step-daughter Ashley Hughes, and son Bruce Randall Watts Jr (Randy), fell in love with the city and decided to make it their home. Following his discharge in 1970, he served in the Naval Reserves, attaining the rank of Lieutenant Commander. Bruce’s interest in architecture and American history prompted him to become a member of Operation Clapboard, an early effort in Newport’s Point neighborhood to save historic houses from demolition. He and Susan owned and restored several historic houses. Continuing his interest in conservation, he was a long-time member of The Preservation Society of Newport County and the Redwood Library and Athenaeum (Chartered in 1747). Bruce’s career in the Boston financial community included management positions at Eaton Vance, The Boston Company, Keystone Funds, Morgan Keegan, Tucker Anthony and Needham & Company. In New York City, Bruce founded the U.S. operations of S. G. Warburg’s Private Equity Fund Group. Following that firm’s merger with UBS, Bruce was active in both investment banking and institutional sales and was promoted to Executive Director. Upon leaving UBS, Bruce and Susan moved to Palm Beach, Florida where he founded Watts Global, LLC raising private equity for emerging growth companies. Bruce was an avid rare book collector and connoisseur of rock and roll music and history. He had a library of early vinyl 45s and LP records. Bruce enjoyed tennis and was happiest playing singles with Susan, at the Seaview Tennis Courts in Palm Beach. A life-long Boston Red Sox fan, Bruce never missed watching a game both at Fenway Park and on television. At all stages of his life, Bruce found time to mentor those who sought him out for guidance, including teaching English classes to his shipmates while deployed in Vietnam. He loved coaching Little League in Portsmouth, Rhode Island. His enthusiastic participation in “Family Games Nights” of Scrabble, Fictionary and Monopoly brought out his sense of humor and competitive nature. His infectious laugh, keen mind and curiosity about all things new and innovative will be missed by those who knew him. Bruce was always supportive of his family and friends in all their endeavors, and they are grateful for his devotion and love. They remember him and hold him in their hearts as they cherish his memory. Bruce is survived by his wife, Susan, and by his step-daughter, Ashley Hughes Olters and his son-in law Dr. Jan-Peter Olters of Lubeck and Frankfurt, Germany and Port-Louis, France; his son Bruce, Jr and his daughter-in law Tammy Wu of New York City and Key Biscayne, Florida; grandchildren Hanna Ware Olters of Berlin, Germany; and grandson Per-Anders Fulton Olters of Frankfurt, Germany and Burlington, Vermont. His brother, Charles Robert Watts, Jr predeceased him. He is also survived by his sister-in-law Marcia Watts, his nephews Charles Robert Watts III and Richard Watts and his nieces Jennifer Watts and Mary Ann Watts Piette. Funeral arrangements will be announced at a later date. In lieu of flowers, contributions in Bruce’s name can be sent to Fisher House Foundation (fisherhouse.org) or to Friends of Palm Beach (friendsofpalmbeach.com).
No services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.
Bruce Randall Watts
July 16, 2019
I am so sorry for your loss. I used to work with Bruce at Keystone in the late 70's early 80's. I did not know him that well but all my interactions with him were very nice. He was extremely pleasant and had a great investment mind.
I never realized that he can from such an esteemed military family nor that he served with great distinction in Vietnam but then again Bruce was a pretty humble guy and not flashy.
I always thought it was very cool that he commuted to Boston from Newport RI!
I lost touch with him and I am sorry now that he did. He went on to have a very distinguished investment career which is not surprising to me.
We will remember him and your family in our prayers and special intentions.
God Bless Ed D'Alelio
July 8, 2019
Sue, I wish we had gotten to know Bruce sooner! He was such a treasure trove of interests and knowledge and very entertaining! You had so many years together, I know you will have a tender spot in your heart forever.
Much love and healing to you, precious friend.
July 5, 2019
My deepest condolences to you, Susan, and to your children Ashley and Randy and their families. You and Bruce were instrumental in my relocating to Rhode Island six years ago; your warmth, kindness, flexibility, and confidence in me all set the foundation for my new life on Aquidneck Island. I will remember Bruce with the greatest fondness: his keen intellect (that my father also greatly enjoyed), drive, and generosity. Please know that my profound thoughts are with you all, hoping that you process this significant loss with patience, love, unity, and many, many comforting memories of a life that made a difference.