April 2, 1945 – June 6, 2016 God opened up the cowboy trails in heaven on June 6, 2016 and told James, “Let’s ride my friend.”
Showing strength and courage after a five-year battle with head and neck cancer, James is now resting in God’s bunkhouse.
James Henry Watson was born April 2, 1945 in Denison, Texas to J.B. and Helen (Clark) Watson. At the age of three, with the death of his mother, grandparents, Mort and Fannie Watson, raised him.
James was a 1963 graduate of Bells High School. He worked for Grumman Olson Inc. in Sherman for 25 years. He served in the Army Nation Guard from 1965-1971, and he was a member of the American Quarter Horse Association.
James married Helen Wright Yeary on September 29, 1973 and became father to her two young boys, Todd and Reed Yeary. James and Helen were blessed three years later with a daughter, Leslie.
Being raised on a chicken farm as a young child, he learned to love and appreciate what God made on the sixth day of creation, large and small animals.
As a young man in the Bells FFA, a new love for the earth and God’s animals was instilled in him by “adopted father”, Jack Prichard. From mentor to life-time friend and companion, this union grew. Jack’s wife, Anna Ruth, welcomed him with open arms. Through this family he gained two brothers, Lee and Casey. As years passed, Lee married Teresa who became like a sister and close friend to James.
James was blessed with many lasting friendships. Those very special friendships were Jackie Young, A.D. “Red” Bateman, Larry Little, Kenneth Durham, Pastor Virgil Cornwell and Linda Hamill, as well as all of the “The Learning Center” group.
James loved the simple life; being honest, caring for family and friends, fishing, taking care of the animals and barn; daily walks with Liz, Lori and Brownie. He lived the “Cowboy Way”.
Not sure he adopted them or they adopted him, most likely went both ways, Brett and Gentry Little were his children and Cash, Laykin and Logan became his grandchildren. He loved them and loved the stories they told him – this family lives and loves the “Cowboy Way”.
James loved his children and was proud of the success and caring adults they became to their children and friends. Those that survive James include his wife, Helen Watson of Savoy; daughter, Leslie Watson and significant other, Todd Stracener and Leslie’s son, Tanner Watson Santee who was James’ side-kick, all of Gunter; Todd Yeary of McKinney and his sons, Seth and Trevor Yeary and their mother, Nanita Martin; Reed Yeary of Cartersville, Georgia and his children, Macey, Blake, and Drew Yeary and their mother, Shelley Riley; several cousins and many friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and several beloved dogs and horses.
Thanks to Home Hospice Plus, especially Don Felder for his care and encouragement; Dr. A. Eshan, Dr. Lance Oxford of Baylor Dallas; eighth floor nurses at TMC and Joe and Susie Isom for always being available for needed care and guidance.
Donations in memory of James can be made to Mane Gait Therapeutic Horsemanship, 3160 N. Custer Rd., McKinney, TX 75071, or to Van Alstyne Education Foundation, P.O. Box 1620, Van Alstyne, TX. 75495 or to the charity of your choice.
Whether you knew him as James, Henry, James Henry, Watson, Dad or Pawpaw James, the family would like you to join them for a Celebration of Life on Saturday, June 11 at 10:00 A.M. at Mullican-Little Funeral Chapel in Bells/Savoy.
James donated his body to the Willed Body Program at U.T. Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas.