William Daniel Watson passed away peacefully on January 23, 2023. Dan was the rock of our family. A dedicated teacher, coach, husband, father, and grandfather who spent his life educating and mentoring the lives of many in our community. Dan was preceded in death by wife Fran Watson, he is survived by daughters Maidee Watson and husband Thom Huson, Terri Elliott, and grandchildren Sophie Elliott, Taylor Gregory, Elliot Gregory, Addison Gregory, his wife Brooke, and great granddaughter Andi.
Dan was born on February 8, 1937, to William (Bill) and Mildred Watson in Fruita Colorado. He graduated from Fruita High School in 1955 and then went on to Mesa Junior College and finished at Northern Colorado College earning a bachelor’s degree in Education. Dan met Fran while attending college in Greeley, CO. They were married on March 17, 1959. They moved to Tacoma where Dan started his teaching career, first at Baker Junior High School and then at Lincoln High School. Along with teaching, Dan coached both Cross Country and Track. He built one of the most successful track programs in the state’s history winning six state titles between 1969 and 1977. From 1961 to 1990 Dan began officiating wrestling during the winter months. He worked about 1000 dual matches and officiated at over 20 high school state tournaments. Dan’s commitment to coaching and officiating did not go unnoticed. He was inducted into the Tacoma Pierce County Sports Hall of Fame in 2005, the WIAA Coaches Track and Field Hall of Fame, the WIAA Coaches Wrestling Hall of Fame and received the Doug McArthur Lifetime Achievement Award in 2019. His greatest achievement during these years was the investment he made in the lives of his student athletes. They will forever be woven into the fabric of our lives.
Dan’s passion for plants and entrepreneurial spirit led to the start of Watson’s Greenhouse in 1984. We often joke that Watson’s is the product of Dan’s hobby gone out of control. Building greenhouse after greenhouse and filling them as full as possible with geraniums, fuchsias, begonias and hanging baskets. He was always experimenting, the biology teacher in him unrelenting in a pursuit to learn more or find a better way to do something. Dan Watson was a family man. He infused a sense of family in everything he did, and that has become the foundation of the business today. His warmth, generosity, and selflessness will be deeply missed. He was always willing to lend a helping hand, with no expectation of anything in return. This spring, when the store is bursting with beautiful flowers, we will be reminded of his spirit and his impact on our lives. We will continue to honor his memory and carry on his legacy.
A Memorial Service for Dan Watson will be held Tuesday, March 7th at 2pm, Puyallup United Methodist Church, 1919 West Pioneer Avenue, Puyallup, WA 98371. In lieu of flowers, please consider honoring Dan’s memory with a gift to support a child at Mary Bridge Good Samaritan Children’s Therapy Unit, Good Samaritan Foundation. Please note the foundation program you wish to support on your donation and mail it to PO Box 5296, MS: 1313-3-FND | Tacoma, WA 98415-0296.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of William Daniel Watson, please visit our floral store.