George Raymond Watts Jr., 87, former ranger at Bald Head Island Golf Club

George Raymond Watts Jr.

SOUTHPORT — George Raymond Watts Jr., 87, peacefully passed away Friday, May 21, 2021, lovingly surrounded by his family.

George was born April 16, 1934, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to the late George R. Watts and Helen (Caldwell) Watts. He was preceded in death by his loving wife of 53 years, Paula Elizabeth (Holmes) Watts; and sister, Louise (Watts) Webb.

A Pennsylvania man through and through, George was raised in Narberth, attended Lower Merion High School and graduated from Lafayette College, where he earned his B.S. Degree in Metallurgical Engineering.

Baseball was George’s passion. He played at Lafayette as a 1st Team All-American and went on to play 2 years in the Pittsburgh Pirates minor league system. He then served in the U.S. Army, Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama, before starting a lifelong career with U.S. Steel Corporation. He was inducted into both the Lower Merion Hall of Fame and the Lafayette College Hall of Fame for baseball. Additionally, he was recognized in the Lafayette Hall of Fame as a member of the 1954 Lafayette baseball team that competed in the College World Series.

George was a loving, active family man who enjoyed coaching youth baseball for many years. He loved spending summers in Stone Harbor, New Jersey, with Paula and their boys, sailing and body surfing in the ocean, and took great pleasure skiing with the family in the winter months. He was a golfer, an avid reader and a New York Times crossword puzzle expert!

Retirement was very kind to George and Paula, as they discovered coastal life in North Carolina, making Southport their home in 1999. George was a regular on the links of St. James, and enjoyed his twilight gig as a weekly ranger at the Bald Head Island Golf Club. He will be fondly remembered and missed by all of his friends, for whom he was always so grateful.

A man of great faith, George found strength and comfort with his church family at Southport Presbyterian, where he will be laid to rest beside his beloved wife, Paula.

George is survived and will be greatly missed by his four sons, Christopher (Kim), Jeffrey (Suzanne) David, and Stephen (Suzanne). His memory will be cherished by his much-loved 12 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

Due to capacity limitations at his place of worship, there will be a private memorial service held Saturday, June 5, at Southport Presbyterian Church.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in George’s honor to Southport Presbyterian Church Building Fund, 1025 E. Moore St., Southport, NC 28461.

Share online condolences with the family at Coastal Cremations & Funeral Care.

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