James Royce Watson

Published 12:00 pm Tuesday, September 6, 2022

Born to Willis John and Lois Smith Watson, Royce worked in the family grocery business in Wisner, Louisiana, most of his younger years, until leaving to attend Louisiana Tech University. Shortly after his enrollment with Louisiana Tech, Royce was drafted into active duty of the United States Navy Reserve to serve in the Korean Conflict, and he served his country for 14 years. In addition to his service, Royce completed his degree and earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and graduated Cum Laude on May 28, 1956.

He and his wife, Vera Barfield Watson, married in May 1952 and moved to El Dorado, Arkansas, where he worked for Lion Oil. As a CPA in the oil industry, they moved several times, including spending time in Baton Rouge where he worked on his masters at Louisiana State University.

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Along with his career as a CPA, Royce was actively involved in church, missions and coaching. He and Vera have traveled all over this country, as well as other countries, spreading Jesus’ word, building and repairing missions. His selfless acts of kindness were witnessed by many over the years.

Royce took great pride in coaching Royal Ambassadors basketball, along with many other sports for each of his children. His love for God, his family and friends, sports (Louisiana Tech) will be cherished eternally. He will be honored with a memorial service at a later date.

Royce is survived by his son, James “Jimmy” M. Watson (Emilane) of Shreveport, and daughters, Brigitte Fitzgerald (Mickey) and Candace Cooper (Jeff) of Ruston, along with eight grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren.

His family would love any memorials be made to the Wounded Warriors or to LSU’s research on AML Leukemia.