My Grandfather passed away

On Saturday morning, my Grandfather, Colin Stewart Watt Jr., passed away. He was 92. My full name is Justin Colin Watt. I’ve always known that I got my middle name from him. It only just occurred to me that I got two names from him. Most people knew him as “Stew”. I knew him as “Papa”.

The last time I saw him was two years ago during his 90th birthday. Here’s a great picture I took of him then with my Dad and Mom. Didn’t he look great at 90?

Papa with my Dad and Mom after his 90th birthday

About a month ago he fell in his bathroom and really cut up his face. He was on blood thinners, and apparently lost a lot of blood. I felt bad the way anyone feels bad for someone far away who gets hurt—I pretty much expected him to get better. Later that week my mom called and told me he wasn’t doing well. This really knocked the wind out of me. In fact the reason we went out the night that Stephanie’s wallet and iPhone got stolen was to take our minds off it.

He recovered from that initial scare, but it was touch and go from then on. Towards the end of last week, we heard that one of his lungs had collapsed. He probably wouldn’t survive the night. That hit me pretty hard too. I thought that since he’d made it this far maybe he’d be ok. My uncle said his face had almost completely healed. He made it through one more day, but then passed away Saturday morning. Stephanie and I left for Buffalo, NY early on Sunday to be with my family this week.

In today’s Buffalo News, there was a very nice obituary.

Colin Stewart Watt Obituary

Colin S. Watt Jr., retired aircraft design engineer
March 3, 1917 — Nov. 21, 2009

Colin S. Watt Jr. of Orchard Park, a retired design engineer for Bell Aerospace and member of the Niagara Frontier Aviation and Space Hall of Fame, died Saturday in Erie County Medical Center. He was 92.

Born in Glasgow, Scotland, he immigrated with his family to Canada and then to the United States, becoming a citizen. In Buffalo, he graduated in 1937 from Technical High School as valedictorian, earning a diploma in machine design.

Mr. Watt joined Bell Aircraft in 1940 and worked there 39 years as a design engineer, specializing in airframes and controls. He worked on many of Bell’s famous aircraft, including the P-39, P-63, X-1, X-2, and the X-22A — the latter famous for its ability to take off vertically and/or on a short runway. Later, he worked on air-cushion vehicles including the SKMR-1 and the SK-5.

Mr. Watt was a member of the Bell Management Club and the Bell Quarter Century Club. He was inducted into the Niagara Frontier Aviation and Space Hall of Fame.

During his retirement, he became involved in watercolor painting and was a signature member of the Niagara Watercolor Society and a member of the East Aurora Art Society.

He was a member of the Church of the Nativity, United Church of Christ, in Kenmore.

His first wife, Doris Anna Watt, died in 1988.

Survivors include his second wife, Ruth Keller-Watt of Orchard Park; two stepdaughters, Judith Cradler and Laura MacFarland; and two sons, Brian D. and David S.

Services will be held at 1 p.m. Tuesday in F.E. Brown Sons Funeral Home, 6675 E. Quaker St., Orchard Park.


I’m really sorry to hear about your grandfather. I didn’t know you were of Scottish ancestry, but I guess the name Watt is pretty Scottish, now that I think about it. Hope you have a safe trip and find some peace saying farewell to your grandfather, and spending time with your family.

My thoughts are with you and your family.

:( I’m sorry, Justin. That is very sad.


I’m sorry to hear about your grandpa. My sincere condolences Justin. Though you don’t know me, I know you because I read your blog all the time. My prayers and thoughts are with you and your family at this difficult time.



Sorry to hear about your loss, Justin. I was raised by my grandparents as you probably remember, so I know how special the relationship with a grandfather can be. You are very fortunate to have had him in your life, and vice versa I’m sure. My thoughts go out to you and your family. Safe travels.

So sorry to hear about your loss, Justin. I lost my grandfather earlier this year, and am grateful for the time that I had with him.


My dear Justin,what I feel is nothing comparing of your feelings but My heart my thoughts my prayers are with you and your family. I keep you in my heart in that difficult time and I send you and your family all my love.

my deepest condolences – it’s always hard to lose someone…even if he was so lucky to have such al long time on earth – perhaps in some weeks you are able to enjoy this fact. He looks pretty good and very, very lucky at his 90th birthday ! My Dad died with age of 72 – and he always loves to have a smal glas of old whiskey in the evening – sometimes i selebrate this – and drink a toast to him.


I understand ur feeling, i lost my 80 years old grandpa on 28/12/09.
I missed him and loved him so much.

May our grandfather rest in peace.

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