Dr. John Wilbur Watson: Ex-Chemistry Head at VPI Dies at 73

Dr. J. Wilbur Watson

BLACKSBURG — Dr. John Wilbur Watson, 73, former head of the Virginia Tech chemistry department, died Monday while addressing the Blacksburg Lions Club.

He had attended VPI from 1905-07. He received his AB, MA and doctorate degrees at the University of Virginia before returning to Tech as a teacher in 1913. He chaired the chemistry department from 1925 until his retirement in 1958 and was in charge of the summer quarter from 1923-42.

Dr. Watson was a member and former president of the Blacksburg Lions, a member of the YMCA and former chairman of the board of Farmers and Merchants National Bank. He was an Episcopalian lay reader and vestryman.

Surviving are his wife, Mrs. Ida Brittain Greenlaw Watson; four sons, John Wilbur Watson, Washington, D. C.; Robert James Watson, Arlington; Marshall Treadway and Charles Neil Watson, Kinsport, Tenn.; a sister, Miss Nancy Watson, Chatham.

Funeral will be at 3 p.m. Wednesday at Christ Episcopal Church, with burial in Westview Cemetery. The body is at Hoy Funeral Home.

The family asks that gifts be made to the Christ Church Memorial Fund in lieu of flowers.


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