Floyd G. Watts, obituary

Posted:  Tuesday, January 3, 2017 - 3:15pm

LIBERTY - Floyd Gordon Watts, of Liberty, died Jan. 1, 2017, leaving this earthly existence just in time to avoid making or breaking any New Year's resolutions. He was in his own home, which was his desire. Floyd was born March 3, 1930, in Rockland, to Harold S. Watts and Gretchen (Gordon) Watts.

His childhood was spent on the Watt's Dairy Farm in St. George, getting wet in the farm pond almost every day in every season including through the ice on occasion. He had good memories of the Long Cove School, in spite of the Alzheimer's disease, until the end of his life. When the U.S. entered World War II, he and his life-long friend, Pete Peterson, both tried to enlist. Pete got away with it, but Floyd, as the only boy on the farm, got caught out. He subsequently joined Ralph Clines "Clines Hell Cats," a group of young men too young for military service and some World War I veterans. They organized to spot German u-boats and patrol the shores.

Floyd was an adventurer and entrepreneur. He traveled to Africa and Europe. His many occupations included a plumbing business, boat-building and many types of flying. It was flying that he loved most of all. From the time Hugo Lehtinen taught him to fly and spot herring, throughout the rest of his life he was involved in aviation. Early on he flew on the Spruce Budworm Project, spotting for the spray planes. He ran Ace Aviation in Belfast providing air taxi and charter service. He taught many people to fly and helped them obtain commercial and instrument ratings. He had many adventures while running Ace Aviation, including a mayday landing at Brunswick Naval Air Station. He flew fire patrol for the state of Maine during a time when his wife worked on a fire lookout tower. He towed gliders in California, flew gliders in North Carolina and towed gliders in Bar Harbor until he could no longer get commercial insurance.

In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by his first wife, Marion (Lindsey) Watts, the mother of his children. He lost his first born child, Christine Watts Ogden, to breast cancer. He endured marriage to Joan Weaver before they divorced. She too predeceased him. He leaves behind his wife, Lise Herold; and his dog, Ace's Traveler, who has been his companion for the past 16 years and will be horribly missed by both of them. He is also survived by his sisters and their families, Darlene Simmons of Lincoln, Vt., and Sherrill Weaver of Topsfield, Mass. His surviving children are Laurel Watts of Colorado, Austin Watts and his wife, Helen, of Bowdoin, Jim Watts of Brooks, and Kathy Watts and her husband, Alan Bryce, of New Hampshire. He had eight grandchildren and one great-grandchild, Christine's children, Rachel Haffer Winchenbach, Charles "Chip" Skinner and his partner, Mel, Sam Winchenbach and his wife, Lindsey; Laurel's children, Steve, Lesley and Russell; Austin and Helen's children, Marion Watts and her husband, Brian, Kelly of Fort Collins, Colo., and Sarah Watts of Alna. Floyd had such joy when Rachel gave birth to his great-grandson, Brody. He is also survived by many nieces, nephews and cousins, including a special nephew, Bill Simmons and his partner, Jessica Albrecht, of New Haven, Vt.

A time of remembering will be held Friday, Jan. 6, at 1 p.m. at Riposta Funeral Home, 182 Waldo Ave. in Belfast.

Those who wish may make donations to Alzheimer's Association, 383 U.S. Route 1, Suite 2C, Scarborough, ME 04074.