Ernest (Ernie) Harold Watts, 90, passed away Sunday evening, August 26, 2012 surrounded by his loving family at Kingston Assisted Living Residence of Vermilion, where he had been a resident since April 2012.
Ernies beloved wife of 62 years, Ruth E. Watts, survives him as does his daughter, Judy Beebe (Norm Kummerlen) of Lorain; grandson, Michael Beebe (Carol Heinz) of Seattle, Washington; and great-granddaughter, Ana Lucia Heinz; grandson, David (Anya) Beebe of Denver, Colorado and great-granddaughters, Briana and Ella Beebe; extended family, Faith (Jason) Sines of Florida and Michelle (Geof) Kazmierczak of Elyria and great-granddaughter, Jillian Kazmierczak.
During his final tour with the U.S. Army, Ernie’s first wife, Betty (nee Sanner) Watts died during childbirth. When WWII ended, he came to Elyria to be with his infant daughter, Judy. He soon enrolled at Bowling Green University and in 1949 earned a Bachelors Degree in Secondary Education; In 1950 he married a fellow Elyria teacher, Ruth Kindig, who has been his devoted wife of 62 years. He continued his education at Western Reserve University, where he was awarded his masters degree in 1953.
Ernie’s teaching career in Elyria Public Schools began in 1949. After teaching social studies for several years at Elyria High School, he saw the need for high school students to study economics. During the summers, he went on to further his education at the University of Illinois, Ohio Northern, and Ohio University. In 1965 he pioneered an advanced course for high school seniors in the study of economics.
Although he felt impassioned about the curriculum, he is most remembered for his deep caring for his students. Ernie retired in 1985 after 36 years of teaching. Later he was admitted to the Elyria Hall of Fame for his great contributions. His career continued in the Trust Department of the Lorain County Bank for an additional 11 years.
Ernie with his wife Ruth was a 40+ year member of the Round Table Book Club and a 60+ year member at the First Congregational United Church of Christ in Elyria, where he was on the Board of Trustees. The two of them were avid world travelers and in their later years enjoyed hiking in the mountains of Switzerland with their Elyria friends. The pictures he took on these trips were his treasures. One of his favorite hobbies for many years was “solving world problems” with his friends from the Gas Light Gang.
Ernie was born April 13, 1922 in Purvis, Mississippi to the late Sinclair Earnest Watts and Fleta (nee Barr) Watts and was predeceased by his step son, John R. Kindig and his older brothers and sisters, Vernon, Dale, Curtis and Edith Watts, Louise Graham, and Katherine Moore.
Friends will be received Saturday, September 8, 2012 from 10 A.M. until the time of an 11 A.M. memorial service at the First Congregational United Church of Christ, 330 Second St Elyria. Reverend Christina Kukuk will officiate with burial at Ridge Hill Memorial Park, Amherst Township.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Community Foundation of Lorain County; 9080 Leavitt Rd., Elyria, OH 44035.
Dicken Funeral Home and Cremation Service, Elyria, is in charge of arrangements.
For online condolences, visit www.dickenfuneralhome.com.