William J. "Bill" Watters, 95 of Ridgecrest Crest Health Center, Davenport, Iowa and formerly of Dubuque, died Friday, May 11, 2012 at Ridgecrest. Funeral services will be at 11:00 a.m. Tuesday at GracePoint Church with the Rev. Christopher English officiating. Burial will be in Linwood Cemetery with full military honors accorded by the American Legion Post # 6 of Dubuque. Friends may call from 4:00 p.m. 8:00 p.m. Monday at the Egelhof, Siegert & Casper Westview Funeral Home and Cremation Services, 2659 JFK Rd. where a Masonic service will be held at 5:00 p.m.
Bill was born on May 1, 1917 in Dubuque, Iowa, the son of Raymond and Lucy (Straub) Watters. He graduated from Dubuque Senior High School, received his B.S. degree from the University of Dubuque in 1939 and his masters degree from the University of Iowa in 1949. Bill served four years in the U.S. Air Force during WWII. On May 24, 1946, he married Wilma Marie Jenne. She preceded him in death on November 5, 1995.
Bill spent 38 years as an educator, teaching in high school, junior high school and elementary school and 31 years in administration as principle at Bryant, Lincoln and Irving schools. He was an active 82 year member of GracePoint Church (formerly known as Third Presbyterian Church) where he served as an Elder, Trustee and treasurer for 8 years, Clerk of Session, Sunday School teacher and Boy Scout leader. He was a member of the American Legion Post #6 of Dubuque for over 50 years and was Past Commander and a member of the 40/8 and the DAV. Bill was also a Mason, a member of the Metropolitan Lodge #49 for over 50 years, serving as Past Master, a member of the of the Oxus Grotto. He served as treasurer and finance officer of the Masonic Temple Association and Masonic Temple Foundation.
Bill was a member of the Dubuque Noon Lions Club for 57 years, was a past president and served as secretary treasurer for 27 years. He also was past District Governor of District 9-X3; received the Melvin Jones Award in 1986; the Warren Coleman Award in 1988 and 1997 and the Whitten Service Award in 2011. Bill sponsored 53 new members and was involved in the forming of 2 new clubs.
He was a member of the Dubuque Retired Teachers Association and AARP Dubuque Chapter #1363 and was past president of both; the Older Iowa Legislator and served as Speaker of the Iowa house; a two term member of the Dubuque Community Schools Board of Education and was past president of the board; a 12 year member of the Dubuque Housing Commission; a member of the Executive Board of Dubuque Area Lifetime Center where he served as treasurer; director of the Tax Aid Program for 12 years; a member of the Dubuque United Way Board; Mercy Hospital Community Relations Committee; twice served on the alumni board at the University of Dubuque and was a past president.
Bill was a lifelong Republican and served on the Central Committee for a number of years. He also was a delegate to the Republican National Convention during the Reagan and Bush years. Bill was the founding member of LLAFF (Loras Life After Fifty Five) exercise program and was a local official for basketball and football for 40 years and a track official for over 50 years. He enjoyed reading, travel, gardening, exercise, being of service, and family.
Surviving are his children, Penne J. (Dick) Duncan of Blue Grass, Iowa and Jay W. (Martha) Watters of Davenport, Iowa; his grandchildren Curt D. (Christine) Duncan of St. Augustine, Florida and Brian R. (Laura) Duncan of Highlands Branch, Colorado; his great grandchildren Mia Caitlin, William Joseph and Nolan Matthew of St. Augustine, Florida and Alaina Morgan and Trent Richard of Highlands Ranch, Colorado; his brother Paul R. (Barbara) Watters of Sturgis, Michigan; also surviving are nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his wife Wilma Marie and a sister and brother-in-law Donna (Robert) Scherr.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to GracePoint Church or the University of Dubuque for the William and Wilma Watters Endowed Education Fund, which was created by Bill in loving memory of his wife to provide enhanced instructional experience benefiting the students in the universitys education department.
The Watters family wishes to extend a special thank you to the entire staff at Sunset Park Place, most especially Karen.
On line condolences may be sent to www.egelhofsiegertcasper.com