Dr. Robert A. Watson, MD, of Burlington, NC, passed away peacefully June 20, 2020 at the age of 96.
Born June 26, 1923 in Ft. Plain, NY to Helene and George Watson, he was the only son of five children.
He served in the U. S. Navy during WWII, and after his time in the service, went on to attend college at the University of Tennessee and medical school at the University of Rochester (class of 1953). He did his internship at Charlotte Memorial Hospital where he met his beloved wife Susie. He completed his residency in the wild west of Las Vegas in the 1950’s, then went on to private practice at the Southern Nevada Medical Group.
Dr. Watson and his family eventually settled in Elon, NC where he went on to serve the residents of Alamance County for well over 50 years. He served as team physician for Elon University (College at the time) for a time, volunteered at Open Door Clinic and provided care for several Native American tribes as a relief physician.
Even after his retirement, Dr. Watson continued to keep his finger on the pulse of health care in Burlington, spending time at Alamance Regional Medical Center and Twin Lakes Center nearly every day while able. If that wasn’t enough, he also served as Medical Director for Edgewood Place at the Village of Brookwood.
Dr. Watson was famous for his line “I want to tell you a story – this is a true story!” - after groans and laughter, a tale of adventure or some experience would follow. His interests, imagination and creativity were broad. Later in life, he discovered a talent and love for art, and produced many wonderful paintings.
Dr. Watson’s patients, friends and colleagues were multi-generational – he never met a stranger- and was beloved by all who knew him. He would have been 97 on June 26 and will be sorely missed.
Dr. Watson is survived by his wife, Sue McRee Watson, 2 sisters – Nancy Collins and Suzanne Ehle, his 3 children (Whitney, Kim and Jane) and numerous grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews.
A memorial service will be held at the Rich & Thompson Chapel in Burlington on Thursday, July 9, 2020 at 11:00 am with the family receiving friends following the service.
In lieu of flowers, and in this time of crisis, the family is requesting donations to the following organizations in his honor: Doctors Without Borders USA, The Humane Society of the United States, Alzheimer’s Association, Johns Hopkins Center for American Indian Health, and the Partnership with Native Americans.
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