Robert E. Watts
Stevensville – On Saturday, January 12, 2013, Bob Watts of Stevensville passed away. We lost our beloved father, our grandfather, our brother, our uncle. Marie Watts lost the love of her life.
Robert E. Watts was born to Merton and Helen (Deal) Watts and raised in Kittery, Maine. He graduated from Robert W. Traip Academy.
Bob is survived by his brother John of Norfolk, VA, his brother Raymond of Niantic, CT, Bill of Bainbridge Island, WA, and his sister Janet Mathews of Essex, England. He is also survived by his daughter, Anna Hudson and her husband Tony of Stevensville, his son Chris Harris and wife Pam of Victor, MT, his son Jeff Barnett and wife Yvonne of Minerva, NY. He is also survived by his beloved grandchildren: Eva, Matthew, Seth, Dustin, Rachel, Wyatt, Tara and his great-granddaughter, Kailynn. Bob is also survived by his wife Marie.
Bob had many interests and occupations during the 68 years of his life, but first and foremost, he was a miner. He came to Butte, Montana in 1963 to attend Butte School of Mines (now Montana Tech). He broke into mining on the Richest Hill on Earth, under the tutelage of Bill (Hardrock) Reid, who remained a close friend until Bob’s death.
After 3 years at the School of Mines, Bob heard the call of the wild, and left school to go tramp mining. He mined all over the West, including Montana, Idaho, and California. He often “tramped out” with his partner Bill Reid or Mike Ritari Mike also remained a close friend until Bob’s death.
Bob was a Vietnam-era Army veteran. He was proud to be in the “Big Red One”. He served as an Armorer at Ft. Lewis in Washington State and at Ft. Riley, Kansas. He participated in The Reforger Training Exercise in the 1970s in Germany.
Marie and Bob met in Cooke City, Montana, while Bob was core drilling for Bill Hansen of Blue Jay Mining Company. The year was 1981. They married in 1986, and he became father to Anna, Chris and Jeff.
Bob and Marie lived in Butte from 1986 to 1991, when they moved to Corvallis, Montana. In 1993 they started the Frontier Café in Stevensville, Montana, and Bob started a whole new career. While the whole family owned the restaurant, Bob, Jeff and Anna were the main components of the business. After Jeff left to move to Upstate New York, Bob and his daughter Anna operated the Frontier Café together until Bob’s poor health became an issue, and he turned over the reins to Anna.
Bob loved his family, he loved his friends, and his little dogs Sophie and Scuffy, and he loved the Frontier Café. He loved the rowdy Christmas Parties at the café, and he loved sitting and chatting with his friends over a cup of coffee. He will be missed. A lot.
A memorial celebration of Bob’s life was held on Saturday, January 19 at the Stevensville United Methodist Church. The celebration of his life continued at a reception at the Frontier Café. Condolences and memories may be left for the family at www.whitesittfuneralhome.com.