American Patriotic 10

Ray Watson

June 1, 1926 ~ June 22, 2022 (age 96)


Ronald Ray Watson, 96, of Byesville, passed away peacefully Wednesday (June 22, 2022) at his residence.

He was born June 1, 1926 in Robins OH (Trail Run), the son of the late Roy and Martha (McConahay) Watson.

Ray retired from the former Cambridge State Hospital after thirty-two years of service.  He had also been a school bus driver for the Rolling Hills Local School District.  After retirement, Ray began working for more than twenty-five years with B & B Livery Service as a hearse driver and as a part-time employee at Black-Epperson Funeral Home, working well into his 90’s.  Ray thoroughly enjoyed this time in his life.  He was well-known and respected by many funeral homes in and around the area.

Ray was a U.S. Army veteran having served during WWII, where he was stationed in the Philippines.

Ray had been active with the Byesville Fire Department for over twenty-five years, where he served as Fire Chief for nine of those years.  He was also a founding member of the Search and Rescue Diving Team for Seneca Lake.

He had been a longtime member of the Main Avenue United Methodist Church of Byesville and, most recently, had been attending the Ninth Street United Methodist Church of Cambridge.

Ray had been active with the Masonic Lodge # 654 F & A M; the Forty and Eight; and a life member of the American Legion Post 0116.  He volunteered with the Ohio State Highway Patrol Auxiliary.

At the age of 90, Ray became the Mayor of Byesville and had previously served on the Village Council for several years.  He enjoyed helping people in any way that he could in his community.  He most enjoyed spending time with his family, who he will be deeply missed by.

In addition to his parents, Ray was preceded in death by his sisters, Dorothy Geary, Juanitta Dudley, and Virginia Phillips-Milton; and his brothers, Delno Watson and Vernon Watson.

On November 23, 1950 – Thanksgiving evening – Ray married his wife of seventy-one years, Jeanitta (Hoag) Watson, who survives.  Also surviving are his daughters, Cornelia (Mike) Hull of Hesperia CA and Celeste Lashley of Byesville; his grandchildren, Michelle (David) Moran of Victorville CA, Brad (Giovanna) Hull of Victorville CA, Kyle (Laura) Hull of Riverside CA, Heather (Aaron McKinley) Lashley of Ashland, and Stephanie (Joe) Womack of Pleasant City; his great-grandchildren, Jon (Kaitlyn) Hull, Ella Hull, Owen Hull, Parker Connor, and Paige Lashley; and a great-great-granddaughter, Gisella Hull.

Visitation will be held Monday (June 27, 2022) from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Black-Epperson Funeral Home, Byesville, where funeral services will follow at 1 p.m. with Pastor Nancy Parsons officiating. 

Burial will follow at Greenwood Cemetery, Byesville, with military graveside honors conducted by the Guernsey County Veterans Council.

Personal condolences may be sent to the family by visiting

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Memorial Tree
A Memorial Tree was planted for Ray

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June 27, 2022

11:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Black-Epperson Funeral Home
231 E Main Ave. P.O. Box 55
Byesville, OH 43723

Funeral Service
June 27, 2022

1:00 PM
Black-Epperson Funeral Home
231 E Main Ave. P.O. Box 55
Byesville, OH 43723

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