Charles Edward Watson, 93, of Baxter, passed away with his children by side Friday, April 2, 2021 at Edgewood Vista Senior Living in Brainerd. A Celebration of Chuck’s Life will be held at 1:00 p.m., Tuesday, April 6, 2021 at First Congregational UCC Church in Brainerd. Family and friends are welcome to gather a half hour prior to services. Reverend Leslie Moughty will officiate. Interment with Military Honors will take place at Minnesota State Veteran Cemetery near Camp Ripley.
Chuck was born June 16, 1927, in Minneapolis, the son of Charles H. and Florence C. (Helsing) Watson. He attended North High School, where he excelled in football, basketball, and baseball. He graduated in 1945 and immediately enlisted in the U.S. Navy. He was trained at Great Lakes Naval Training Center. He was honorably discharged in 1946. Chuck returned to school and attended the University of Minnesota before transferring to Bemidji State Teachers College to complete his degree. Chuck was also part of Bemidji’s first hockey team – and was the last surviving member. In 1949, he married Barbara Fischer and the couple made their home in Bemidji until Chuck accepted a teaching position in Moorhead. For more than 30 years, Chuck taught social studies for Moorhead Public Schools. Through his hard work and determination, Chuck developed the hockey program in Moorhead and the creation of the hockey arena. He was the coach for the first number of years of the program. Later, Chuck was inducted into the Minnesota State Hockey Coaches Association’s Hall of Fame and was also able to drop the first puck on the ice when Bemidji State University built their most recent arena. He was active in his community. He served on the Parks and Recreation Board in Moorhead and attended the First Congregational UCC Church. When he and Barbara decided to move to the Brainerd Lakes Area to be closer to family, he immediately started participating in church activities. Chuck enjoyed tending to his yard and putzing on any project he could find. He will be missed.
He is survived by his children, Kim (Mary Burns) Watson, of San Diego, CA, Todd (Jennifer) Watson, of Brainerd, and Dana Watson, of Baxter; grandchildren, Christopher (Corey), David (Melanie), Bradyn (Morgan Peterson), Annika (Blake) Olinyk, and Megan Kath; great-grandchildren, Mara, Greta, and Dean; sister, Faye (Gregg) Watson; brother-in-law, Jon Fischer; and nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his wife of 69 years, Barbara; daughter-in-law, Amy Watson; parents; and sister, Joan Carlson.
Memorials are preferred to First Congregational UCC Church or Moorhead Youth Hockey Association.
There will be a memorial gathering for Chuck during the annual MHS/MYHA golf tournament, July 22, 2021, at The Meadows Golf Course in Moorhead after the awards ceremony to share a beverage and memories of the early history of Spud hockey.
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