God called Jay Dee Watson, 51, of Malta, Ill., to his immortal home in the early morning hours on Monday, July 4, 2011. He died unexpectedly while doing what he loved, camping with a Scout troop, immersing himself in the outdoors and teaching others his passion for mother nature.
He was born June 8, 1960, in Ft. Wayne, Ind., the son of Donald L. and Jaqueline L. (Spencer) Watson.
Jay graduated from Kaneland High School and enlisted in the U.S. Army soon thereafter. He proudly served his county in the 475th Transportation Company in Panama. Upon his honorable discharge, Jay returned to civilian life and joined his father in the pizza business.
In his younger years, Jay was a member of the Kishwaukee YMCA swimming and diving team, where he set records in the 100 meter breast stroke and captured several medals on the diving board.
Jay’s love for fishing, which took him annually to northern Minnesota to hook himself several largemouth bass, was second only to his passion for Scouting, which began in 1972 when he became a Cub Scout. Over the years, the merit badges began to mount until there was only one more accomplishment yet to achieve. He was awarded the rank of Eagle Scout in 1978. Scouting took him not only to various camps around the country, but around the world. Jay attended the 1977 National Scout Jamboree at Moraine State Park in Pennsylvania, several trips to the Philmont Scout Ranch in Cimarron, N.M., and the 1979 World Jamboree in Sweden. His love of Scouting stayed with him, and for the past several years, Jay has been an assistant Scout Master and Unite Commissioner for the Three Fires Council. Most recently, Jay was an assistant with the United Methodist Church, Troop 4, in DeKalb, Ill. The trails he blazed are now left for us to follow, each step marked with a memory not only in this world but in our hearts.
He is survived by his father, Donald L. Watson of Maple Park; and one brother, James A. Watson of Wheaton, Ill.
He is preceded in death by his mother, Jaqueline L. Watson; and one daughter, Katherine.
Visitation will be at Conley Funeral Home in Elburn on Saturday, July 16, from 10 a.m. to noon with a brief remembrance service to begin at 12:30 p.m. Interment and military honors will follow at Kaneville Cemetery, in Kaneville, at 1:30 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, a memorial has been established in his name to benefit Camp Lowden Scout Camp in Oregon, Ill. Checks may be made to the “Jay D. Watson Memorial” and mailed in care of P.O. Box 66, Elburn, 60119. Tributes may also be forwarded to the same address or on the web at www.conleycare.com.