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Dr. Spencer Charles "Spence" Watson

Born: Fri., May 7, 1943
Died: Sun., Dec. 1, 2013


2:00 PM to 4:00 PM, Thu., Dec. 05, 2013
6:00 PM to 8:00 PM, Thu., Dec. 05, 2013
Location: Thurmont Location

Funeral Service

11:00 AM Fri., Dec. 06, 2013
Location: St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church

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Dr. Spencer Charles "Spence" Watson, 70, of Sabillasville, died suddenly Sunday, December 1, 2013 at his home. He was the loving husband of 30 years to Elizabeth Watson.

Born May 7, 1943 in New York, he was the son of the late C. Wilbur and Barbara J. Watson.

Dr. Watson was a chemist with the Department of Transportation from 1993 until his untimely death. He was a poet, playwrite, Weiss Katz vinter and co-founder of the Thurmont Thespians. At one time, he and his wife owned Scot Powder, Inc.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by his daughter, Michelle Elizabeth Ogon of Bradenton, FL; son, Spencer Charles Watson, Jr. and wife, Nancy, of Los Angeles, CA; grandson, Elijah Miller; granddaughter, Cadence Watson; step-children, Ed Carpenter, Jr. of Wilmington, DE; E. Rebecca Carpenter of Sabillasville; and Mary Beth Johnson of Waynesboro, PA; and three step-grandchildren, Sarah Johnson, Emily Rose Johnson and Rachel Johnson.

He also will be remembered by his former wife, Martha Romansko of Bradenton, FL

He was predeceased by two brothers, Bob and Richard Watson.

The family will receive friends from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, December 5, 2013 at Stauffer Funeral Homes, P.A., 104 E. Main Street, Thurmont. Funeral services will begin at 11 a.m. on Friday, December 6 from St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church, 15 N. Church Street, Thurmont. Officiating will be the Rev. Susan Beck.

Interment will follow in Brown's Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Thurmont Thespians, 14826 Manahan Road,  Sabillasville, MD 21780.

Expressions of sympathy may be shared with the family at www.staufferfuneralhome.com.

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Condolence Booklet

Jeanine Evans
   Posted Mon December 02, 2013


Our hearts go out to Beth and the family. Spence was a wonderful man who will never be forgotten and therefore can never truly leave us. Our love and sympathy~ Jeanine Evans, Christine Grable & Families

The Cofer Family
   Posted Mon December 02, 2013
Dear Beth,
Our hearts ache with yours as we share in your loss. Spence was an astonishing man of many talents, interests and accomplishments. Our lives will be less rich without him. We pray that you will know God's comfort and strength through the many people who gather 'round you at this time.
Love & Prayers,
Jim, Denise, Sam, Ben, Katie & Emily

Doug & Patty Benson
   Posted Mon December 02, 2013
We are praying for your whole family during this difficult time. Spence was a wonderful man and will be greatly missed!

Clay and Brenda Black
   Posted Tue December 03, 2013
We are very sad to hear that the Earth has lost such a great and gifted man. Spence was extremely intelligent, he was very creative and talented, and he was a special and kind individual. Spence's loss is immense for all who have been blessed to know and love him.

Sherry Trimmel
   Posted Tue December 03, 2013
I worked with Spencer at the Department of Transportation. Spencer was always friendly and helpful. He will be missed. My thoughts and prayers are with all of you.

Duane Cassidy
   Posted Tue December 03, 2013
Spencer was a colleague of mine at The U.S. Dept. of Transportation (PHMSA). I met him in 2002, and from that time on, he always had a friendly hello or comment, and was the consummate professional. My prayers are with you, and I will offer up a special prayer to Spence during this Advent season. In sorrow, we mourn those lost. In gratitude, we embrace those around us. In sympathy, we reach out to those who grieve.
My condolences to you and your family during this time. Spence was very well respected and liked here at D.O.T. and will be missed.

Barbara Alston
   Posted Tue December 03, 2013
I am almost lost for words for such a wonderful person, another leaf has fallen from the tree and landed in the garden of peace. Spencer, was such a great, kind, caring & giving person, his heart was so big and full of love, his voice was filled with joy and knowledge. We worked together at US DOT and he will be missed. My prayers are sent to comfort the family lost and God Bless all of you and the angels will surround you at this time. Barbara Alston PHH30

Bob and Ann Frame
   Posted Tue December 03, 2013
We were so shocked to hear of Spencer's passing. He was a good man, dedicated to his craft and love of Theatre. The Theatre Association of New York State has lost a valued adjudicator and friend. He will be missed. Our condolences to Beth, his family and loved ones.

Dave Clark
   Posted Tue December 03, 2013
Spence was a true "professional" in every sense. He touched the lives of many at DOT, providing answers when no one else would even listen to the question. As he is deeply missed by his wife and family, he too will be missed by his "DOT family", who holds him in the highest regards. My prayers are with the family as they navigate through this difficult time.

Richard Tarr
   Posted Tue December 03, 2013
Spencer will be greatly missed; I still cannot believe that he is gone. I feel sad for your loss and for the unrealized plans of a life in retirement. I pray for your comfort in this time of loss and sorrow.

Maria Howard
   Posted Tue December 03, 2013
I worked with Spencer at the Department of Transportation. He was always friendly and helpful person. He will be missed. My thoughts and prayers are with you all.

Samuel Cofer
   Posted Tue December 03, 2013
Sorry for your loss, Spence will be greatly missed. I learned so much from him and will always remember his dedication and willingness to help with the Theatre productions that made my teen years so enjoyable. God Bless

Brian Vos
   Posted Tue December 03, 2013
Spence was my mentor at PHMSA for the last few years, as well as the person with whom i most closely worked as fellow Chemists in the Sciences group. He often took the time to ask me about my family, and it was great to hear him proudly talk about his own. I respected his insights and technical opinions on various subjects, even when we disagreed, and I will miss working with Dr Watson (or as he would often correct me, "Just Spence"). I pray God's peace for his family at this difficult time.

Kevin Boehne, Chief/Director PHMSA Central Region HazMat Enforcement RETIRED
   Posted Tue December 03, 2013
Fair Winds and Following Seas, GODSPEED on this your final journey, you and your family are in our thoughts and prayers.

Refaat Shafkey
   Posted Tue December 03, 2013
I have known Spencer as a colleague at the Department of Transportation since 2010. Spencer was not only a respected professional with impeccable integrity but also a great human being who was always pleasant and courteous. I am profoundly distressed by his sudden and untimely passing. He will be acutely missed. May the departed soul rest in peace and may his family and friends find courage to bear this irreparable loss.

Cynthia Quarterman
   Posted Tue December 03, 2013
On behalf of his family at the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, we send our heartfelt condolences to his family. We know that you have suffered a great loss in the untimely death of Dr. Watson. We are also mourning the loss of a great scientist, friend and professional colleague. Our thoughts are with you.

Sally Gladden
   Posted Tue December 03, 2013
Spence was a most special person. He will be missed.

Charles Betts
   Posted Tue December 03, 2013
My thoughts and prayers are with the Watson family during this difficult time. I have had the pleasure of working along side Spencer since 1996. Over the years, he has provided his technical assistance to me and my team in the review of numerous highly technical issues. Each day he saw me, he would greet me with a big smile and ask "How you doing today Charlie?" He will definitely be missed by all.

Warm regards,
Charles Betts

Cheryl Grinston-Ford
   Posted Tue December 03, 2013
Spencer was such a quiet nice friendly spirit and always spoke gently to me as he passed me in the halls at work. He will be missed by me and others. May he rest in peace forever with his maker and original creator. My prayers go out to his wife, children and other family members that are grieving his sudden loss. May God get you through this trying time and give you the strength to carry on with grace, faith and dignity as Spencer would want it.


Cheryl Grinston-Ford,

Melanie Barber
   Posted Tue December 03, 2013
Dear Mrs. Watson, children, step-children, grandchildren, step-grandchildren, in-laws, out-laws, and many friends,

I met Spencer when we were working on an Emergency Cadre at the Department of Transportation preparing for and responding to one of the biggest hurricanes to hit the United States. I had a good visit with him at a charity fundraiser last week. He is so like the subjects of his last play, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. We mourn the loss of our Renaissance man, brilliant colleague, trusted friend, dedicated public servant, creative writer, and loving husband, father, grandfather. You are in my prayers. I hope that your memories and faith sustain you.

Susan Russell
   Posted Tue December 03, 2013
Dear Beth,
My heart goes out to you for your loss. Spence was such an important part of our theatre community (and you, too!!) Please know that you are in my prayers.
Love and God bless you--Susan

Renee Coleman
   Posted Tue December 03, 2013
Please accept my heartfelt condolence to the Watson's family. Although I've known Spencer for a few years, I am very grateful I had to the pleasure to directly work with him briefly. He was a brilliant man with an incredible sense of humor! He will be missed much by us all. I sincerely render my thoughts and prayers for you and your family. Renee, PHMSA

Lori Hockley
   Posted Tue December 03, 2013
It is hard to find the words to express my own sorrow and shock at Spence's passing, and my sorrow for his family and friends, most especially Beth, Becky, MaryBeth, Kurt, Sarah, Emily, Rachel, Elijah, and the many other children, teens, and adults touched by his work with the Thurmont Thespians and Blue Ridge Theatre Guild over the years. Spence was a remarkable man, multi-talented, creative beyond words. When I think about the most significant times of my adult life, Spence is most inevitably a part of those moments. His confidence in me and his mentorship made me a stronger person and he, without really knowing it, helped me through some of most difficult times in my life. I will cherish forever the opportunity to have been his "Bessie Darling".

Gopala Vinjamuri
   Posted Tue December 03, 2013
Before I retired from PHMSA, I had very close firendshop with Dr. Watson. His mild manner, respect for others and constant smiling stayed with me always. God bless his soul. My sincere ccondolences for his family.--Gopal Vinjamuri

Jeannie Thornton
   Posted Tue December 03, 2013
Dear Beth and family,
Words are so hard to express at this delicate time, but know that my thoughts, prayers and love are with you.
Hummingbirds open our eyes to the wonder of the world and inspire us to open our hearts to loved ones and friends. The hummingbird’s delicate grace reminds us that life is rich, beauty is everywhere, every personal connection has meaning and that laughter is life’s sweetest creation.
Spence has made a lasting impression on me and I will always remember his laughter and genuine smile.
God Bless you always

Jeannie Thornton

Jon Carter
   Posted Tue December 03, 2013
Having worked with Spencer on lithium battery safety issues, I admired his knowledge and integrity. For him, the truth was just another element of physics; he would not manipulate it. A good man.

--Jon Carter, Federal Aviation Administration

Thaddeus C. Speed
   Posted Tue December 03, 2013
I knew Spence through his work at the DOT. He was always helpful, sincere, and ready to find meaningful solutions to problems or issues. Although I did not have the pleasure of a more personal relationship, it was apparent in his demeanor that he truly cared about people. I am confident that he received a warm welcome on the other side of the passageway we call death. I know he will be sorely missed by all that knew him.

J Covino
   Posted Tue December 03, 2013
Spencer and I have been colleagues for many years.
His family friends and colleagues will be in my prayers.
May God give us all strength and understanding.

J Covino

Dr. Jackson Shaver
   Posted Tue December 03, 2013
Our thoughts and prayers are with the Watson family. Dr. Watson will be greatly missed.

Cookie Driscxoll
   Posted Tue December 03, 2013
Mike and I were both very saddened to learn of Spence's passing. He was such a driving force in the community theater world. Our sincerest condolences to Beth and the family. We will hold you all closely in our hearts through this holiday season and beyond.

Anna Lynch
   Posted Tue December 03, 2013
I am so sorry for your loss. My prayers are with the family as they deal with this difficult time.

Jan and Scott Bloom
   Posted Tue December 03, 2013
Beth and family,
We're so sorry to hear about Spence's passing, it comes as a great shock. We will miss him dearly, both as a friend and as a gifted and passionate talent. I know the entire community theatre family has you in our thoughts and his memory in our hearts.

Karen Plessas
   Posted Wed December 04, 2013
I was so sad to hear of Spencer's passing. He was one of my favorite people at PHMSA. I will always remember his quiet, kind smile.

Deborah Boothe
   Posted Wed December 04, 2013
I've had the pleasure of working with Spence at DOT for quite a few years. He's always been so helpful and kind. I will miss him. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

Amber Kasbeer
   Posted Wed December 04, 2013
Dear Mrs. Watson,
Spencer was such a wonderful and endearing colleague. His wisdom and commentary will be greatly missed. A brilliant man and human being that we were blessed to have in our circle. I know he will be missed by many, but I especially will miss his kind words and mentorship. Please accept my heartfelt condolences as you and your family pass through this difficult time.

Jerry Ward
   Posted Wed December 04, 2013
I have known Spence for many years through his work at DOT. He was always very knowledgeable, helpful and supportive during our discussions. I will miss him - I so enjoyed our discussions.
My condolences to the family.

Jason Newell
   Posted Wed December 04, 2013
I am deeply saddened to hear about the passing of Dr. Spencer. He has been a great asset to the hazmat community and was always a pleasure to talk to about regulations and was helpful. He will be greatly missed.

Jason Newell

Jim Williams
   Posted Wed December 04, 2013
I worked with Spencer at DOT and it was always obvious how dedicated he was to his family, work and hobbies. He will be missed by many. Rest in peace, Spencer.

Duane Pfund
   Posted Wed December 04, 2013
Spencer leaves a legacy of leadership in the complex area of explosive safety, both within the US and around the globe. As a demonstration of his impact, I have been asked by many of his international collegues to pass along not only heartfelt condolences but also gratitude for having known and worked with him. While I greatly valued his unequalled expertise and dedication, I will remember most clearly his kindness and patience when explaining topics that were so clear to him but so foreign to a novice such as me.

Joe Nicklous
   Posted Wed December 04, 2013
I would like to express my deepest sympathy regarding the unexpected and sudden loss of such a wonderful man and colleague. I had the pleasure of working with Spencer for the past 10 years at PHMSA. Throughout his career, he made valuable contributions to the agency and country through his unwavering dedication to hazardous materials safety and explosives in particular. When initially hearing the news while sitting in Geneva, I was preparing to present the results of his most recent research to the UN Sub-Committee. I was saddened and instantly at a loss for words. During the introduction of this paper, I informed the group of his recent passing. The entire sub-committee was saddened upon hearing the news, and expressed their condolences throughout the remainder of the meeting. A note expressing the condolences of the sub-committee has subsequently been included in the report of this meeting. I know words do little to console family and friends; however, my thoughts and prayers are with you during this extremely difficult time.

Lorraine and Jim Beaver
   Posted Wed December 04, 2013
Dear Beth, Becky and Mary Beth,
We can't possibly share your feelings at the loss of Spence. We can only be grateful for the 30 happy years you had together. The love you shared can't be taken away.
Our thoughts and our sympathy are with you.

Beth Obregon
   Posted Wed December 04, 2013
Dear Watson Family,

I am deeply sorry for your loss. Dr. Watson was an engaging member of the CT community and he will be missed.

Our thoughts will be with you this holiday season.

Dell Sidbury
   Posted Wed December 04, 2013
I was so saddened to hear abou the passing of Spencer. He was such a "gentle giant". So sweet and sincere. His presence will be missed. Prayers of comfort to the family.

Rick Boyle
   Posted Wed December 04, 2013
I had the pleasure of knowing and working with Spencer at DOT for almost 20 years. Spencer truly defined explosive expert and safety professional. I am grateful for his passion and dedication in developing comprehensive transport safety regulations and for his drive in making the U.S. explosive review and approval program the best in the world. Please know that for all Spencer's professional accomplishments and accolades, I never saw him happier or more proud than when he spoke of or told a story about his wife, children and grandchildren. My prayers go out to all of you during this terrible time.

Nancy Speck
   Posted Wed December 04, 2013
Beth - I was so sorry to hear of your loss. Spence was a gift to our theater community and will be greatly missed. My thoughts and sympathy are with you. Nancy Speck

Steve Willis
   Posted Wed December 04, 2013
Dear Beth, I was so saddened to hear about Spencer's sudden passing. I enjoyed talking theatre and playwriting with him, and having the opportunity to see him perform on several occasions when I was adjudicating various festivals. I know he will be greatly missed by his family as well as his many theatre colleagues and friends. Please know that I am thinking of you during this time.
Blessings to you and your family, now and always,

Susanne Caviness & Ed Bruns
   Posted Wed December 04, 2013
Spence --you were an inspiration and mentor to me as I became involved in the Eastern States Theatre Association. Always calm, supportive--a sage and gentleman.---Susanne

Spence--you were one of the good guys--quiet but wise, and a brilliant stage scene designer!--Ed

Pam Aubol Eyler
   Posted Thu December 05, 2013
Wanted you all to know how sad my heart is for you. Sending hugs.

Mark Toughiry
   Posted Thu December 05, 2013
I have known Spencer as a friend and colleague at the Department of Transportation since 1996. We routing to have lunch with Spencer and will be missed.
Spencer was a respected professional with practical expertise and knowledge relating to his tasks (chemistry and explosive). However - Spencer will be remembered not just for his expertise and knowledge but for the impeccable integrity and his passion for public safety and their wellbeing. I am truly shocked and saddened by his sudden passing. I wish strength and peace for his family and friends.

Cheryl Whetsel
   Posted Thu December 05, 2013
Dear Watson Family,

I've known Spencer for many years. Although I never had the opportunity to work with him directly here at DOT, it was always a pleasure to meet him in the hallway or at an office get together. He always had a smile and quiet greeting for everyone he met. The world needs many more like Spence! I am so sorry for your loss. God bless you during this difficult time.

Cheryl Whetsel

Kin Wong
   Posted Thu December 05, 2013
I have been a colleague of Spencer for the last 17 years and have always been impressed with his knowledge and passion on explosives. His passing will be missed. My condolence to the Watson family.

Dzu Luong (ISCD, DHS)
   Posted Fri December 06, 2013
I have been impressed with his knowledge and passion on energetic technologies.
His passing will be missed.
My condolence to Dr. Watson’s family.

Marsha & Jeff Greenspan
   Posted Fri December 06, 2013
Dear Beth and Family,
Bith Jeff and I will miss Spence and his wonderful theater spirit. His knowledge and talent was so deep and the gift that he gave to others by sharing that knowledge will be a great loss. A wonderful light has left us yet I know he will be lighting the heavens for all our productions. May the Lord bless you and watch over you during this difficult time.

David Beck
   Posted Fri December 06, 2013
I spoke to Spence everyday when he passed by my cube when I worked at PHMSA up until November. He was weel respected and all around nice fellow and he will be missed. My prayers to the family, may God help you all and bless his memory. Dr. Watson we thank you.

Cynthia Appleton
   Posted Fri December 06, 2013
Beth and Family~

Our theater family has one less today and we grieve that loss along with you and your family. Our deepest sympathy.

Cindy and Gary Appleton

Cindy and Zeke Johnson
   Posted Fri December 06, 2013
Dear Watson Family,

Although we only knew Spence for just a little over 10 years, we admired his dedication to the theatre and to his family. Not only was he a husband, father and a grandfather, but he was also an actor, director, producer, technical and crew person. We will always miss him, especially at the theatre festivals. But I'm sure we will feel his spirit everytime the lights go up on stage.

Cindy and Zeke

Neilson Jones
   Posted Sun December 08, 2013
Spence was not only a caring, kind and giving person, but also a great friend. He left us much too soon. His humor and gentle smile will be missed by all who knew him.

My thoughts and prayers to his family.

Patti Mengers
   Posted Wed December 11, 2013
Dear Beth,
I was shocked and saddened at the news of Spence's passing. The one thing that sticks out in my mind about the two of you is how much you were in love with one another. I hope you are comforted by memories of that love.
Warm Wishes, Patti Mengers

Gary & Suetta Bechtel
   Posted Wed December 25, 2013
Dear Beth and Family Members,

Please accept our sincerest sympathies on the loss of Spence! We just learned about his death here in CA where we are spending the Winter from Bob Appleton, and were truly saddened. He was a significant part of our lives for a short period of time, and even though our paths separated a few years ago, it has been a joy remembering the many days we were able to interact at various levels. We will especially miss his laughter and smile on the 1st Sunday of each new show at Totem Pole. It was always a joy to visit with both of you for those fleeting moments on those days.

Beth, while Spence has gone, we wish for you the Peace that Passes All Understanding. May it give you that same "Peace" knowing that while he may be gone in person, he "lives" both in his own eternal peace and in the hearts and minds of those who love him and whom he also loved.

God Bless You Beth!

In Deepest Sympathy,
Suzie and Gary

Dr. Thomas A. Butler, Ed.D.
   Posted Tue December 31, 2013
Spencer, when I met you in 9th grade science class at Port Jefferson High School back in 1956, we hit it off immediately. We went on to build rockets together and survived. I was doing some acting in which Spence took an interest. We often performed together. I eased out of drama, however, as I needed to devote more time to my studies. Spence was smart enough to do both and then some! And it was the acting that remained part of his life. He excelled at theatre. I'll miss you, Buddy. God speed on your new journey. Curtain calls here, openings elsewhere. I'll miss you Spence. Tom Butler

Barbara Watson Benz
   Posted Thu January 09, 2014
Beth, I am grateful that you sent me the notification of Uncle Spencer's passing. I am saddened by the news and have notified my siblings about this loss. On behalf of "Bobby's" family I want to express our sincere condolences to you. I am reminded of the times I visited you and Spencer and your wonderful hospitality and pleasant times I enjoyed. I am also reminded of the gift of the stay at the "inn" in Ohio where you and Spence (and now Rich and I) will always have fond memories. God bless and remember to take care of yourself during this difficult time.

Love, Barbara

Eleanor Stearns
   Posted Thu March 06, 2014
I was so sorry to learn of Spence's death in the Callboard. He was a crucial part of TANYS and always so cheerful and welcoming. I looked forward to seeing him at Festival each year. He will be missed by all of us.

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