Fred J. Watson

A memorial service for Fred J. Watson will be held on Sunday, May 7, 2023, at 1:00PM at Murray-Orwosky Funeral Home, 876 Wildcat Way, Sulphur Springs. There will be no formal visitation. Fred J. Watson passed away peacefully at home in Sulphur Springs, Texas on March 31, 2023, with his wife Mary Frances at his side. Fred was 82.

The youngest of four children, “Freddy Joe” was born in Greenview near Miller Grove in Hopkins County, Texas on June 17, 1940, to Weldon and Maymee (Gafford) Watson, four generations after the first Watsons arrived in NE Texas in 1832.

While attending Sulphur Springs High School, Fred was among the most popular in his class and excelled in athletics. He set state scoring records as a guard for the Wildcats’ basketball team in 1958 that stood for over 30 years, and in 2008 he was inducted into the SSHS Wildcat Hall of Honor.

After graduating High School, Fred served in the U.S. Army and met his first wife Carolyn Irene Howard while stationed in Hawaii. Fred graduated with a degree in Business from East Texas State University in 1966, and after residing in Paris, Texas for several years, the family relocated to Madison Wisconsin and later Reno Nevada while he was working in the insurance industry. Fred eventually opened his own insurance agency in Reno which he later sold when he came back “home” to Texas.

Fred married his second wife Mary Frances France in Dallas, Texas, in April 1992, his former high school sweetheart from the 1950’s. They started their own ATM banking machine company in 1995 and relocated back to their hometown Sulphur Springs in 2005 to enjoy retirement.

Fred and Mary each have three children, and always enjoyed hosting family gatherings during the holidays, with all their loving, blended family. Fred will be remembered for his fun-loving spirit, ever-present sense of humor, and interest in sports and classic movies.

He is survived by his wife and best friend Mary Frances, as well as his former wife Carolyn and their son Mark Watson (Ellen), son Jeff Watson and daughter Branden Watson; his stepsons Mark Romack (Leigh Ann), Scott Romack, Chris Romack (Kellie); eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Fred is predeceased by his parents, sister Marie I. Watson, brother Buster N. Watson and brother Billy T.Watson.

Arrangements are under the direction of Murray-Orwosky Funeral Home.

The online register can be signed at

Fred J. Watson

Author: Chad Young

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