CANFIELD, Ohio – Frank C. Watson, 92, of Canfield passed away peacefully on Thursday, August 3, 2017, surrounded by his loving family.
A lifelong member of the Canfield United Methodist Church, he leaves behind his wife of almost 68 years, Norma Jeanne (Hitchcock); two daughters, Janet Stephens (Jeff) and Ellen Tressel (Jim). A son, David pre-deceased him in 1991. Frank has four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Frank was born October 6, 1924 in Webster, New York, son of Abraham and Grace Watson but lived in Youngstown most of his life.
Frank graduated from Webster High School and entered Case Institute of Technology (currently Case Western Reserve University).
He answered his country’s call by serving in the U.S. Navy (Pacific Theatre) from 1943-46 during World War II.
Returning from the war, Frank entered Youngstown College and graduated in 1949 with a Bachelor’s of Engineering Degree, majoring in Mechanical Engineering.
Frank was the driving force behind many academic and athletic endeavors at Youngstown State University and his behind the scenes help has allowed the university to grow immensely over the years.
His “get involved” attitude led him to the Presidency of The Youngstown Welding and Engineering Company, a post he held from 1959 to 1988.
He was a member of the American Society of Naval Engineers and a member of the American Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers. Frank served on the boards of banks, Ohio Edison Company, Youngstown State University, the local school board, hospital and YMCA. He is a past-president of the Youngstown Area Chamber of Commerce.
One of Frank’s greatest dreams was realized when he served as the Campaign General Chairman of the YSU All Sports Complex – a committee which helped raise $16 million for the athletic facilities at the university. In addition to the Sports Complex, Frank and Norma have contributed over $3 million toward the Recreation Center on the YSU Campus, the indoor training facility appropriately named the W.A.T.T. S. – Watson and Tressel Training Site and most recently the Frank and Norma Watson Student Success Center at YSU.
Frank was a member of the Western Star Masonic Lodge, a 33rd degree Scottish Rite Mason and a member of the Al Koran Shrine Club. An avid hunter and fisherman, he was a lifelong member of the Duquense Hunting and Fishing Club, a member of the Castalia Trout Club and Rockwell Springs Trout Club.
A Memorial Service to honor Frank’s life will be held Monday, August 7 at The Watson and Tressel Training Site (W.A.T.T.S.) on the YSU Campus at 11:00 a.m.
The service is open to the public.
Frank will be interred at the North Jackson Township Cemetery, North Jackson, Ohio.
There are no calling hours.
Arrangements have been entrusted to the Lane Funeral Home, Canfield Chapel.
Our appreciation and thanks extends to Briarfield Manor and Hospice of the Valley who provided excellent care and comfort to him.
In lieu of flowers, material contributions to honor Frank can be made to: The YSU Foundation, The Frank and Norma Watson Student Success Center, 655 Wick Avenue, Youngstown, OH 44502 or The Canfield United Methodist Church, Trustees Maintenance Fund, 27 S. Broad St, Canfield, OH 44406.
A television tribute will air Monday, August 7 at the following approximate times:
6:41 a.m. WYTV and 8:41 a.m. MyYTV and 9:58 a.m. on FOX plus two additional spots throughout the day.