Donald Scott Watson – Lieutenant Colonel, United States Army

Courtesy of his classmates
United States Military Academy, Class of 1946

Donald Scott Watson * ’46
No. 15721 * 11 Sep 1922 – 15 Sep 1998
Died in Annandale, Virginia
Interred in Arlington National Cemetery


Donald Scott Watson was an Army Brat, born in Minneapolis, Minnesota. His father was a Signal Corps officer. His sister, Margaret recounted some of their experiences: ” We loved our life and experiences as Army Brats. We were young teenagers in Manila, which we found exotic and exciting. Our parents felt we might never get back to that part of the world so mother took us to China and Japan for three months in 1937. Instead of staying in hotels, we stayed at missionary’s compounds. Dad’s next tour was in Washington, DC. We were fortunate to stay there long enough to finish high school in one school.”

Don graduated from Woodrow Wilson High in 1940. He graduated from Carleton College, Northfield, Minnesota in 1943 with a BA degree. Don joined the Class of 1946 at West Point on 1 July 1943. Don was older than most of his classmates and served as a calming influence for his companymates. Bill Gavin recalled: “Don was a true ‘gentle’ man. His maturity was always shown especially during plebe year. He always came up smiling with a determination to forge ahead. He was above all else known for his sincerity. He  was certainly one of the most liked and popular classmates.” Roommate, Ev  Rae recalled: “As a roommate, Don served as our calming influence. It was a rewarding and pleasurable experience to know him. Few things seemed to shake him.” Don graduated as a second lieutenant in the Field Artillery.

His first assignment after basic artillery schooling was to Puerto Rico. By coincidence his father was also serving there. Returning to the States, Don was assigned to Fort Meade, Maryland, as a battery commander. It was then on to the Artillery School for the Advanced Course. Don was then selected to attend Pennsylvania University where he earned his Masters in Electrical Engineering. It was while there that he met and married Evelyn Lockhart in Philadelphia in 1955.

After serving on the Staff and Faculty of the Anti – aircraft and Guided Missile School at Fort Bliss, Texas, Don transferred to the Signal Corps, his father’s branch. He then served in the Pentagon, Germany and returned to the Pentagon to serve in the Office of the Chief, Communications & Electronics, Department of the Army. Due to Evelyn’s
health problems, Don retired in 1966 as a Lieutenant Colonel and worked for the Defense Intelligence Agency. In 1982, Evelyn died from a sudden heart attack.

Don retired from DIA in 1985.

In retirement, Don was able to devote more time to his varied interests. He was passionate about golf and bridge. He was a brilliant investor in the stock market. It
was through his interest in bridge that Don met Lora Jones, an Army widow. They
were married in June of 1992.

Don died 15 September 1998. Survivors include his wife, Lora; sons, James and David; daughter, Kimberly; sister, Margaret and three grandchildren.

Don Watson embodied in all aspects of his life the motto, Duty, Honor, Country. The remembrances of his family and friends shed some light on this remarkable man.

Classmate Rob Rusvold: “He was remembered in his last years by his closest friends as one who could never say no to anyone who asked for his help. He had a great insight for the needs and problems of others. He provided counseling and a sympathetic shoulder to those in need — from people with abuse problems to youth in detention centers who benefited from his guidance and concern. Don need never have worried whether he made a difference to the world. The many people whose lives he touched knew that Don left this world a better place.”

Sister, Margaret: “He liked to help everyone. He didn’t make judgements about other’s problems but shared them — usually with satisfactory solutions. He was an inspiration to me and to many others.

Classmate, Ed Houseworth: “I considered Don Watson to be a true and valued friend –one of the best persons I have ever known. His departure leaves a big hole in the lives of all of us who knew him. My son, who knew him from early childhood, summed it up by saying: ‘He was a great friend and role model.'”

Reverend Gary Pinder, from his eulogy: “Don Watson was a strong but gentle man, a man deeply devoted to his family, his country and his God. A man of dignity, integrity, honesty and wisdom who loved life and the opportunity to live it. He touched lives wherever he went, doing whatever he could to help others — a man of constant faith, continuing hope and everlasting love.”

These words of praise are aptly followed by those of the Class of 1946 which would mean so much to our classmate: “Well Done, Don; Be Thou At Peace!”

’46 Memorial Article Project and his wife, Lora

From a contemporary press report:

Donald Scott Watson, 76, a retired colonel in the Army Signal Corps who was also director of technical information at the Defense Intelligence Agency, died of cardiac arrest September 15, 1998 at Inova Fairfax Hospital. He had cancer.

Colonel Watson, who lived in Annandale, Virginia, retired from the Army in 1966 and the DIA in 1984.

He was a native of Minneapolis and a graduate of both Carleton College and the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He received a master’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Pennsylvania.

He served in Puerto Rico and Germany.

He was chairman of the Northern Virginia Alanon and founder of an Alanon chapter at the Juvenile Detention Center in Fairfax. He was a volunteer with the Salvation Army, where he was a teacher, and the Prison Fellowship. He was a member of Lewinsville Presbyterian Church in McLean, First Presbyterian Church in Annandale and the West Point Alumni Association.

His first wife, Evelyn Lockhart, died in 1982.

Survivors include his wife of six years, Lora B. Watson of Annandale; three children from his first marriage, James T. Watson of Cleveland, David S. Watson of Burke and Kimberly J. Moore of Annandale; five stepchildren; a sister; and 11 grandchildren.


On Tuesday, September 15, 1998, beloved husband of Lora B. Watson and the late Evelyn L. Watson; father of James T. Watson, Cleveland, OH, David S. Watson, Burke, VA, Kimberly J. Moore, Annandale, VA; grandfather of Peter and Hannah Watson, Nicole Moore; brother of Margaret Hebditch, Pittsburgh, PA. Memorial services will be held at Lewinsville Presbyterian Church, 1724 Chain Bridge Rd., McLean, VA on Friday at 2 p.m. Graveside services will be held at Arlington National Cemetery on Wednesday, September 23 at 2 p.m.

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