Cover photo for John Watt's Obituary
John

John Watt

March 8, 2022

John Bernard Watt, of Mount Airy, Md.-longtime backbone of the Carroll County Fair, the 4-H Therapeutic Horseback Riding Program, and the Maryland Special Olympic Equestrian Team-died on Tuesday, March 8, 2022.

Born in 1932 to Eileen (Phillips) Watt and Bernard Joseph Watt of Washington, D.C., he learned the value of hard work early. As an only child, he helped his mother around the house and garden. Later, when his family moved to a farm, John would come home from school and look after the livestock, work the fields, push the reel mower, and repair what needed fixing before riding his favorite horse, Teddy. But you couldn’t keep him down on the farm. As a young man, he married his adored Nancy (Gesell), and joined the U.S. Army, packing up his wife and firstborn and moving them to Germany. John loved serving in the military. He felt it gave him a sense of purpose, a strong connection to the United States, and a readiness to take on the responsibility of his newly formed family as it grew to so many loved ones. Both John and Nancy loved their time in the country and brought a little bit of it back home to Maryland with them in the form of a cast-iron St. Nicholas Christmas tree stand. St. Nick held their tree up that year, and every year after that--a reminder of that first holiday as a little family. (And yes, Dad told this story every year as he untangled the messy strings of Christmas lights packed away with this family treasure.)

John was a hard worker and was employed for many years by C&P Telephone Company. No matter how many hours he put in, he somehow always found time for his hobbies and his community. He loved gardening and taking care of his lawn. Those straight lines in the yard were very important to him. In the fall, he made wooden holiday decorations, and every December, he and his youngest son Bruce would set them up in the yard for the neighbors to enjoy. Fair-goers might remember John from his years volunteering for the Carroll County Fair, where he drove his beloved EZ Go Golf Cart around the grounds, checking to make sure that all was in order. (Then again, maybe he was trying to stay out of Nancy's way, because she ran the Fair kitchen and always had chicken that needed frying and vegetables that had to be cut.) During therapeutic riding season, you could find him working in the barn and arena to make sure everything was ready for the riders. The oldest of his children also had their own sports coach, because Dad volunteered to help their teams do their very best.  When not giving his time to the community he could be found tinkering with small engines or watching his favorite football team, the Maryland Terps. Somehow, amid all this work, he managed to lovingly raise six children, seeing them through childhood, learning to drive, and making their way in the world. His most consistent advice to them? On a personal note, it was always to be a good person and do for others what you can. On a practical note, he would tell each child to drive their car gently to make it last longer, teach them about parallel parking, and remind them to change the oil often. We will, Dad, we will.

He is survived by sons Jerry of Middleburg, Md. and his wife, Barb; Dean of Westminster, Md. and his wife, Joy; Craig of Fort Meyers, Fla., and his wife, Dana; and Bruce of Westminster, Md.; and by daughter Patricia (Watt) Menjivar of Walkersville, Md. His daughter Susan (Watt) Mason preceded him in death. John, also known as Pap-Pap, is also survived by a number of grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

He had a full life. But even in his last days, he talked about what he still wanted to do: simple things, like float in a pool one last time, take a helicopter trip, spend a few days on a river boat on the Mississippi, and even travel back to California. His grandson Jeremy fulfilled one of his wishes by flying him in a plane around Carroll County to see things from the sky. Dad would want you to have these kinds of adventures too. Don’t put off your joy until "one day.” Do it for Dad. He’d want your heart to be full.

A memorial service is planned for 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 12, 2022, at Stauffer Funeral Home in Mt. Airy, 8 E. Ridgeville Blvd. with receiving of friends from 11a.m.-1p.m. prior, followed by interment at Pine Grove Cemetery in Mt. Airy. He will be buried next to his beloved wife, Nancy, who died in 2019. But his memory will live on, every time we talk about him, parallel park a car, struggle with Christmas lights--and take his advice on how to keep a car running for more than 20 years. Thanks, Dad. We’re going to miss you.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of John Watt, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Saturday, March 12, 2022

11:00am - 1:00pm (Eastern time)

Stauffer Funeral Home, Mt. Airy

8 E Ridgeville Blvd, Mount Airy, MD 21771

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Memorial Service

Saturday, March 12, 2022

Starts at 1:00pm (Eastern time)

Stauffer Funeral Home, Mt. Airy

8 E Ridgeville Blvd, Mount Airy, MD 21771

Plant Tree

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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