Obituary of James Merritt Watters
James Merritt Watters, age 85, passed away peacefully on Sunday, September 3, 2023, at the Arcadia Nursing Home in Morris. Jim was born in Morris on June 9, 1938, to the late Kenneth and Berniece Watters, and lived most of his life in Morris. He attended Morris Community High School, class of 1956. He was a proud member of the High School band, even serving as drum major and the Redskin chief for 2 years. After high school, Jim attended the University of Missouri and IIT in Chicago. After school, Jim worked for Stepan Chemical and Northern Petrochemical before starting his own electrical contracting company, which he ran for 30 years before retirement. After retirement, Jim settled in Gold Canyon, AZ for several years before returning to Morris in 2020.
Jim attended Peace Lutheran Church in Morris, and while in Arizona, Mountain View Lutheran Church, where he was an Elder. Upon returning to Morris, he was a member of Bethlehem Lutheran. Jim also served for 25 years as a volunteer fireman for Morris. He taught CPR and first aid and even served as Captain of the Hose and Lt of the Hose.
Jim is survived by his high school sweetheart and loving wife, Judith Watters; his sons John (Betsy) Watters, Charles (Sandra Wiekert) Watters, Robert Watters of Newton, MA, and James Paul (Suzie) Watters of San Jose, CA; his grandchildren, Matthew (Candace) Watters of Minooka, Kristen Price of TX, Luke Watters and Emma Watters of MA, Ryan and Andrew Watters of CA, Amanda (Jason) Nault of Lake Villa, and Tyler Evans (Katie) of Cambria, IL; and 6 great-grandchildren.
He is preceded in death by his parents; and son, Christopher Watters (1981).
As it was Jim’s final wish, cremation rites have been accorded. All friends and family are invited to celebrate Jim’s life at a Memorial Visitation to be held on Friday, September 15, 2023, from 4-7 p.m. at the Fred C. Dames Funeral Home, 1201 W. U.S. Route 6 in Morris. Funeral services will be the following morning, Saturday, September 16, 2023, at 10:30 a.m. at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Morris. He will then be accompanied by the Morris Fire Department to Evergreen Cemetery for inurnment. Memorials in Jim’s name can be made to Lightways Hospice or the Bethlehem Lutheran Church Organ Fund. For more information, please call 815-942-5040, or to leave an online condolence, visit his Memorial Tribute page at www.fredcdames.com.
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