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American Veteran 04


Richard Arlin Watts

November 17, 1937 ~ May 17, 2019 (age 81)

On May 17, 2019 our beloved husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, mentor, best friend, Richard Arlin Watts, returned home to his Heavenly Father.  He passed peacefully away surrounded by his angel wife Jean, and his beautiful children and their spouses. He was a great warrior.  After a long fight battling heart, kidney and lung failure he was finally called home. 

Richard was born November 17, 1937 in his parents’ home in Springville, Utah.  Son of Vera Ashby Watts and Don Walker Watts. Richard has three brothers and two sisters. Donald Watts, Jeannine Perry, Robert Watts, Annalee Johnson and David Watts who are all still living.

He graduated from Springville High School and then went to Brigham Young University.  He married Elsie Jean Skinner January 28, 1966 in the Salt Lake Temple.  They were married for 53 years.  They have six amazing children. Three boys, three girls, 23 grandchildren, 4 great grandsons, and three greats on their way.  

Richard served in the US Army as a Green Beret from 1958-1967.  He completed 256 jumps out of airplanes during his service.  

Over the years Richard battled many health problems.  He carried each battle with a smile, grace and dignity.  Always accepting what the Lord placed before him.  Never once did he complain.  

Richard served two missions for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. The first one was in East Germany from 1956-1958.  He later served at Temple Square in Salt Lake City with his wife Jean from 2008-2011.

Richard served 20 years as Vice president over Data processing for Smiths Food King.

In May of 2002 Richard started a business, Watts Automotive, with his son Bret in American Fork. Richard worked there until the day he died.  He loved working with his son’s, sons-in-law, daughter and grandchildren.  

He loved all of his employees and loved going to work each day. 

Richard had a zest for life.  He always saw the good in everything.  He loved and adored his angel wife Jean.  She was the light of his life.  He loved his children.  He would do anything for any one.  He would drop whatever he was doing to go to their aid.  He loved watching his family grow.  His grandchildren and great grandchildren brought a smile to his face every time he saw them.

Richard served in the following positions in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints: bishop, elders quorum president, high priest group leader, scout master, and high council.  Everywhere he served, everyone loved him. He was one in a million and will be missed by so many.

He is survived by his wife Jean, children: Bart and Robyn Watts, Brad and Kim Slater, Bret Watts, Hunter and Kelli Lewis, Blain and Melissa Watts and Adam and Keri Collier, along with 23 grandchildren, 4 great grandsons and three on the way.

An evening viewing will be held Wednesday, May 22, 2019 from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. in the Manila Stake Center, 850 North 900 East, American Fork, Utah. (Just north of the Mount Timpanogos Temple.) Funeral services will be held Thursday, May 23, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. also at the Stake Center, with a viewing from 9:30 -10:45 a.m. prior to the services.  Interment will be in the Pleasant Grove City Cemetery.  Condolences may be sent to the family at


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