James H. Watts, 81, veteran, truck driver

December 03, 2005

James Howard "Pop" Watts, a retired truck driver who served in World War II and Korea, died Tuesday at the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Baltimore of complications from a fall. The Lansdowne resident was 81.

Mr. Watts was born and raised in Millville, Pa., and joined the Navy in 1942. He served as a frogman in Europe.

He was recalled to active duty during the Korean conflict and served aboard the cruiser USS Salem.

He was a member of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3217 in Baltimore and American Legion Post 564 in Millville, Pa.

Mr. Watts had lived in Buffalo, N.Y., and Williamsport, Pa., before moving to Lansdowne in 1986. He drove a tractor-trailer for 33 years for the now-defunct Mushroom Transportation Co.

Known as "Pop" by neighborhood children for his willingness to help repair their bicycles, Mr. Watts was an accomplished carpenter and gardener.

For many years, he enjoyed setting up a Christmas garden in his home.

Mr. Watts, who favored Western dress and was seldom without his cowboy hat and boots, enjoyed listening to country music and Grand Ole Opry radio broadcasts.

Services are private.

Surviving are his wife of 19 years, the former Mary Kolbe; three sons, James H. Watts Jr., Larry F. Watts and Gary W. Watts, all of Grand Isle, N.Y.; three daughters, Sarah Jane Young and Mary Lou Doebler, both of Williamsport, Pa., and Kim Marlene Minlionica of Stafford, Va.; two stepsons, Ronald G. Davies and John J. Davies, both of Baltimore; two stepdaughters, Romona Lynn Logan of Randallstown and Teresa M. Davies of Baltimore; 10 grandchildren; and several great-grandchildren.

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