Dr. William C. Watson
Dr. William Crawford Watson
December 20, 1927 - March 4, 2021
Passed peacefully on March 4, 2021 in the loving care of the staff at McGarrell Place in London, Ontario, in his 94th year. He was born in Glasgow, Scotland to Charles Banks Watson and Sarah Law Watson (nee Paterson). He was predeceased by the love of his life Elspeth Mather Watson (nee Morrison), and by his adoring sister Janet (Netta) Pardoe. He is survived by his children, Claire, Lesley, Moray and Hilary and grandchildren Austin, Emma, Fiona, Sarah, Evert and Tabitha.
Bill was a family man, a physician, an accomplished researcher and administrator, an active sportsman, a fine actor, a gardener, and a gifted musician. As a boy he attended Wellshot Public School in Glasgow and then Allan Glen High School of Science. During the war years he was educated at Lanark Grammar School and billeted with the rector who instilled in Bill his love of cryptic crossword puzzles. He entered the University of Glasgow in 1945 at the age of 17 and graduated with his medical degree at age 23. In 1951 he joined the British army medical corps, and was posted in Hong Kong as regimental medical officer for the Royal Engineers, and subsequently as director of the 18th field ambulance in Korea. At the age of 24 he attained the rank of major.
On his return to Glasgow he filled a posting at the Glasgow Royal Infirmary in internal medicine and became the senior house officer in cardiology. He became a lecturer at the University of Glasgow and completed his MD degree and his Ph.D. In 1955 he married
Elspeth whom he had first met in 1946 at a Young Peoples Christian Association meeting. In 1960 with three children in tow they moved to Washington D. C. where Bill had a fellowship at the National Health Institute. In 1961 back at the Glasgow Royal Infirmary he abandoned cardiology and after a whirlwind eight week training program filled the hospital’s need for a gastroenterologist. In 1967 with four children now in tow the family moved to Nairobi, Kenya where Bill was a visiting professor in the newly established medical school. In 1968 he was back at the Royal Infirmary as a consultant. In the summer of 1969 the family made one last move from Glasgow to London, Ontario to settle permanently. Bill joined the staff at Victoria Hospital and established its gastrointestinal unit and training programs. He eventually served five years as Victoria’s Chief of Staff. He was an active researcher with over a hundred publications to his name and was a professor of medicine at the University of Western Ontario.
Bill was an active churchgoer and served in the Session of Tollcross Central Church in Glasgow and in numerous capacities at First-St Andrew’s United Church in London. He was also a lay preacher and performed on stage in many of the plays produced by the First-St.Andrew’s Players. A superb violinist he played in various amateur orchestras and ensembles and enjoyed playing in quartets at home with his friends and Elspeth. He loved golf, tennis and squash, played rugby in his youth and was a rugby referee into his forties. He travelled extensively and set foot on six continents. He was a passionate gardener and dabbled in painting watercolours.
Bill was diagnosed with Alzheimers in 2005, and placed in the care of Horizon Place in 2009, before making his final home at McGarrrell Place in 2014. There are no words to adequately express appreciation for the incredible devotion and love that the respective staffs provided to Bill over the past twelve years. Special mention is provided for Mary Stinson, who was his faithful companion for ten years until her much deserved retirement in 2019. Bill loved chocolate, and black coffee and blue cheese, and peanut butter on toast, and had a fondness for wearing hats. He had eclectic tastes and a wealth of talents. He will be missed.
A private funeral service is taking place at Harris Funeral Home on Sunday March 14th. Bill’s remains will be cremated and interred at Mount Pleasant Cemetery.
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