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Obituary of Wayne Byron Watson
WAYNE BYRON WATSON
1945 - 2018
Wayne Byron Watson, 73, deeply loved husband, father, brother, uncle and friend, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, December 19th in the hospital in Austin, Texas surrounded by his devoted wife and family after a long series of illnesses. Wayne was born on October 31, 1945 to Walter Cecil and Frieda Marie Watson in New Brunswick, New Jersey.
Wayne was born on October 31, 1945, the second of four sons to Walter Cecil and Frieda Marie Watson in New Brunswick, New Jersey. He was intensely passionate about every aspect of life and that carried over into everything he did from making memories with his family and his friends, to school and to work.
Wayne graduated from New Brunswick High School, NJ where he excelled in football. Following high school and a year in college, Wayne joined the United States Air Force on December 2, 1965, during the Viet Nam conflict and was stationed in San Antonio, Texas where he served for four years. While in Texas, as a walk on to the Continental Football League’s San Antonio Toros, Wayne played middle linebacker, loving every minute of his time with them.
Following his honorable discharge from the Air Force, Wayne returned home to NJ, working in New York City and Washington D.C. for a brief time as a computer programmer before packing everything he owned to travel across the country to attend Brigham Young University. After graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science in 1973 and several interactions with the new Dean, Rex Lee, Wayne was admitted to the charter class of the newly created J. Reuben Clark Law School at BYU. Working days and studying at night, Wayne graduated in 1976 with that first class. He was always proud of receiving his diploma from among others, the former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Warren E. Burger.
Upon graduation, Wayne became the Chief Deputy, in the Utah County Attorney Office. During his incredible career for the County, Wayne prosecuted or assisted on many high profile cases including the Lafferty Brothers and Gary Gilmore and was waiting in line after the state of Florida to prosecute Ted Bundy. He successfully prosecuted seven capital murder cases during this unusual time in Utah County. Wayne was a talented prosecutor and an excellent litigator, a formidable foe in the courtroom. Following his time at the County, Wayne went on to work in private practice by opening his own law firm, Wayne B Watson, PC and later taught criminal justice and business law at Utah Valley University.
Serving others was an important part of Wayne’s life, whether it was his public service on the Orem City Council, as Utah County Republican Party Chairman in 1989-90, or when he helped to found the local Center For Women And Children In Crisis. He was intensely patriotic, always a loyal and active member of the Republican Party and loved his country deeply and the Constitution upon which it was founded.
He married Karen Marie (Larson) in Jackson Hole, WY on August 30, 1991 and they were later sealed in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints Salt Lake Temple. They spent 27 years madly in love and devoted to one another and never tired of their almost inseparable time together as loved ones and best friends. He was an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, having a deeply personal relationship with his God and Savior and served in many positions throughout his life.
Wayne was devoted to his family, and loved the outdoors and the sea. An avid hunter, fisherman, ATV rider and sailor, Wayne always wanted to be doing something outside with his family. He loved to travel and experience not only the beauties and history found throughout the world, but also get to know the people who inhabit the various places he visited, whether in the US or abroad. He loved being a cowboy and always said his best days were spent on horseback. Wayne also loved watching football, whether it was cheering on the BYU Cougars or his beloved New England Patriots winning another Super Bowl.
Wayne was preceded in death by his parents, Walter Cecil and Frieda Marie Watson, his in-laws, Merlin B and Marie B Larson, Highland, UT and a niece, Stephanie Watson. He is survived by his wife Karen Marie (Larson), and son from a previous marriage, Wayne Brett (Aubrielle) of Springville, his three brothers Barry (Jocelyn), Brian (Marilyn), Dennis (Patti), his three brothers-in-law, Michael Larson (Melissa), Gerald Larson (Ky), Farrell Larson; a dear sister-in-law, Irene Larson, and many beloved nieces and nephews in both the Watson and Larson families.
Family and friends may call on Friday January 4 from 6-8 p.m. or Saturday from 9:45-10:45 a.m. at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Sunset Heights 6th Ward, 500 South 600 West, Orem UT. In accordance with Wayne’s wishes the casket will be closed. Funeral services will then follow on Saturday, January 5, 2019 at 11 a.m. at the same location. Interment with military honors will be in the American Fork Cemetery, 599 N Center St., American Fork, UT. There will be a luncheon following for the family and invited guests at the Alpine Country Club, 5000 West Alpine Country Club Lane, Highland, UT. Funeral arrangements are being coordinated by Anderson & Sons Mortuary, 49 E 100 N, American Fork, UT.
The Watson family wishes to thank the incredible attentiveness and kindness shown to Wayne during the past several months by the all of the staff at both St David’s Round Rock Medical Center and St David’s South Austin Medical Center, Texas. They also thank all who have provided service and love to them at this tender time.
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