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Richard Lee “Rick” Watson

August 29, 1944 - January 01, 2020



Richard Lee “Rick” Watson of Cadillac passed away January 1, 2020 at his home. He was 75.

Rick was born August 29, 1944 in Holdrege, Nebraska to Forest and Pauline (Huff) Watson.

He earned his Bachelor’s of Science degree from University of California of Davis. Rick was employed by the United States Forest Service as a soil scientist for many years. He spent time hiking and camping in the High Sierra Mountains with his family while out West and took many trips back over the years. Rick had a love of nature and extensive knowledge of horticulture that led to his creation of hybrid orchids named after his daughter and mother.

A job transfer brought him to Michigan where he enjoyed cross country skiing, snow shoeing and making maple syrup. His adventurous spirit continued as he sailed on a 24 foot Bristol sailboat from Grand Traverse Bay ending in the Bahamas. He had many visitors during his year and a half sail including his son, daughter and cousin, Casey. Rick enjoyed supporting his grandchildren at their sporting and school events. Rick could often be found at the library researching his family genealogy and he leaves behind a rich legacy of information for his family.

Rick is survived by his daughter, Traci Warner of Tustin and son, Jeff (Deanna) Watson of Leroy and their mother, Toni Stevenson of Tustin; grandchildren: Nick (Ashley) Warner, Saige and Creed Watson; great-granddaughter: Jessa Warner; a brother, Tannis (Jeanne) Watson of Niles; a sister-in-law, Marjorie Watson and several nieces, nephews and cousins.

He was preceded in death by his parents; a brother, Larry Watson and a sister, Paula Watson.

Cremation has taken place and a private family service will be held in the spring. An online guestbook is available at

Guest Book

  • Debbie Budnick - Jan 9th, 2020 7:56 am

    "I was saddened to hear of your passing. We had a few talks during the nice weather outside by the tree. I am glad I met you. It was nice having you as a neighbor at Cornerstone Apartments. You will be missed Rick. I always enjoyed your smile and kind words."

  • Matt Sands - Jan 9th, 2020 2:48 pm

    "To Rick's family, be at peace. To his friends, a fond memory of a quality person."

  • Bill Friday - Jan 9th, 2020 8:26 pm

    "Memories from the Friday Family Reunions in 2001, 3, and 5 are still fresh in my mind. I sleep every night under a quilt with all the names embroidered in of the cousins who gathered in Kearney for those amazing parties. Rick will be missed."

  • Cathy Cleland - Jan 9th, 2020 8:34 pm

    "Shocked and saddened to hear about Rick. He was a friend from when we first met back in Cadillac, Mich in June 1978, when he hired my husband David. Rick was such a facinating, well read individual; who will be dearly missed. So glad we got to spend time with him over the years, enjoyed many lively discussions around the kitchen table. May you rest in peace. "

  • Lonnie Burkett-Kempher - Jan 10th, 2020 7:47 am

    "It saddens me to hear of your passing! I always enjoyed your visits and conversations at the ESCAPE! May you rest in peace and may your family find peace in the coming days!"

  • Richard (Dick) Hill - Jan 11th, 2020 11:44 am

    "Rick brought a bird suet ball to the coffee room one a m. We were all admiring it when the Forest Engineer came in. He saw it grabbed a cracker and knife and cut a hunk. He licked his lips and had several more hunks. We all snickered and after he left we hew hawed.—- for severl years afterwards. Thanks Rick. "

  • Jeff Bruggink - Jan 14th, 2020 9:24 am

    "Rick was a great mentor (soil mapping) to me many years ago and a wonderful person. I will also not forget his bowls of dried oats for breakfast as I often do the same now thanks to him. My sympathies to your family."

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