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Obituary of Ray McCoy Watson
Ray M Watson
May 1, 1938 -- February 8, 2023
Ray lost his short battle with cancer Wednesday evening February 8th, at home surrounded by family and friends. He was 84 years old. Ray was born in Monterey, Tennessee, but spent his early childhood in Nashville. His family moved to St. Petersburg in 1952 and he then attended Boca Ciega High School
He served in the US Navy and was always proud of being a Navy man. After the service, he worked for General Electric and later for Nabisco as a sales manager serving South Florida and the Bahamas. In 1975, he purchased the family business, Watson's FoodTown Markets, from his father and continued to be active in the grocery business until his retirement. He served as Chairman of Retail Grocers of Florida and spent nine years on the Board of the National Association of Convenience Stores. He was the smallest operator to ever serve on that board. Ray was also part owner and President of Universal Travel Services Inc. After retirement, he worked as an associate for Anderson McQueen Funeral Homes, a job that he truly enjoyed. While there he also served as a Celebrant. He was a member of Egypt Temple, Scottish Rite, Northside Lodge #283, Selama Grotto, York Rite and past member of the Royal Order of the Jesters.
He was very active in Kiwanis. He was a member of Sunshine City Kiwanis and served as President. He received the Governors Humanitarian Award, The Ralph Davis Fellowship Award, The George Hixson Fellow Award and Served As Lt. Governor of Division 13 (2005-‘06). He was selected as the Kiwanian Outstanding Lt. Gov for the State 2006.
He was a charter member of Pasadena Presbyterian Church, served as a deacon, an elder and as a Stephen Minister. He most recently was a member of Pass-A-Grille Community Church.
Ray will be remembered for his kindness and generosity to all who knew him. He was a loyal friend and loved by many. He was preceded in death by his father, Marvin "Mo" Watson, His mother Fay Verble and his sister Pat Cotton.
He is survived by his wife of 33 years Lois Watson; his brothers Dr. Robert Watson (Carolyn) and Don Watson; his Daughters, Debbie Jimpie (Tom) and Laurie Jackson (D.J.) and his son David Watson (Maxine); eight Grandchildren: Matthew and Joey Jimpie, Dane (Sabrina), Colten and Jenna Watson, Danielle Shelburne (Michael) Morgan Humphrey (Nate) and Ryanne Jackson. Five Great-Grand Children who brought great joy to him in his later years, Oaklie, Camryn and Quinn Humphrey and Brooks and Hudson Shelburne.
The family would like to thank his dedicated caregiver: Cerise Boyd for the loving care she gave him.
In lieu of flowers donations may be made to:
The Shriners Hospitals for Children, firstname.lastname@example.org
Visitation Tuesday, February 14th at 1:00pm and Service at 2:oopm at
1oo Pasadena Ave N. St. Petersburg. FL, 33710,
Reception to follow at The Club At Treasure Island
4oo Treasure Island Causeway, Treasure Island, FL, 33706.
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