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Child, father die after kayak overturns on Hart Lake in Hubbard County

Roger Watson

Dec. 13, 1944-May 20, 2008

Roger L. Watson, 63, of Clara City, Minn., passed away on Monday, May 20, 2008 at the Clara City Care Center, surrounded by his family.

Roger Lloyd Watson, son of Marlyn and Evelyn (Bouchard) Watson, was born Dec. 13, 1944 in Duluth, Minn., where he grew up and received his education. At the age of 17, Roger enlisted in the United States Army. He ended up serving in the Army, Air Force and National Guard throughout his career in the military. Roger also attended the Wadena Vocational Technical College, where he received a degree as a radio technician.

Due to his military career, Roger lived and served in various places throughout the United States, Germany and Somalia. Along with his career in the Armed Forces, Roger also worked for the Maryland State Police Department as a radio technician.

On Aug. 23, 1985, Roger married Joni Blasco in LaPlata, Md., where the couple made their home. Roger retired at the age of 55 from the military and the state police. Due to illness, he moved to Minnesota in 2002 to be closer to his daughter, Barb. Since 2004, Roger has made his home at the Clara City Care Center in Clara City.

Roger loved camping, fishing, hunting and anything else that allowed him to be outdoors. He especially enjoyed the time he spent with his family.

Surviving Roger are his wife, Joni Watson of LaPlata, Md.; three children: Barbara Jenson (Carter Mithun) of Starbuck, Minn., Christopher (Ann) Watson of Detroit Lakes and Mark Watson of Texas; three stepchildren: John (Rachelle) Pinning of Cobb Island, Md., Connie (John) Gragen of Bel Alton, Md., and Michael Pinning of Arizona; his mother: Evelyn Watson of Detroit Lakes; seven siblings, Janet Burbul of St. Paul, Sandra (Chuck) Gardner of South Bend, Ind., Richard (Verna) Watson of Detroit Lakes, Pamela Gerber of St. Paul, Allen (Judy) Zetterlund of St. Cloud, Lyle (Venice) Zetterlund of Milwaukee, Wis., and Carol (Joey) Crog of Mahtowa; 18 grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; as well as many nieces and nephews.

Preceding him in death were his father, Marlyn, and stepmother Jean Watson.

Visitation will be held from 5-7 p.m Friday, May 23 at the Starbuck Funeral Home in Starbuck, continuing for one hour prior to graveside services at the church on Saturday.

Graveside services and military rites are scheduled for 11 a.m. Saturday, May 24, at East Zion Lutheran Cemetery, rural Starbuck, with the Rev. Becky Worner officiating.

Pallbearers for the service will be the military personnel in attendance. Serving as honorary pallbearers are: Andy Wickstrom, Art and Katie Simpson, all of Roger's family and friends and all who served with Roger in the military. Starbuck Funeral Home in Starbuck is in charge of the arrangements.

To send condolences to the family, visit the funeral home's Web site online at and click on obituaries.