John Watson

March 06, 1947 ‒ November 16, 2019

Ashland, Ohio

ASHLAND: John Robert Watson, age 72, passed away Saturday, November 16, 2019 at his daughter’s home under the comforting care of Kindred Hospice and surrounded by his loving family.

John was born March 6, 1947 in Monroeville, Ohio, the son of Clarence Lee Watson, Sr. & Susie Mae (Hensley) Watson and was one of twelve children. His oldest sister, Thelma, took him in after his parents passed away and was like his second mom. He was very close with his siblings and John told the funniest stories about their childhood. Ornery, witty, and lots-of-fun are all words that describe John.

He entered the US Army at the young age of 17 and served during the Vietnam War, stationed in New York and in Germany. He was a tank driver and enjoyed using the CB radio and was proud of his service in the Army and the National Guard. His love of trucks became a career as he was a truck driver for many companies over the years including Mohican Trucking, Tradewinds Trucking, and Mansfield Asphalt. In younger years, he worked for a dude ranch in Wyoming and later for a funeral home and ambulance service in Champion, Ohio. John was multi-talented and had a spirit of adventure.

John’s top priority in life was his family. He loved spending time with his daughter Barbe and his son Raymond, and even more so with the grandkids once he became “Papaw.” He was especially close to his granddaughter, Aliya, and they loved watching the Three Stooges together. Other favorite television shows included Forensic Files, ID Discovery, and NASCAR races. John never knew a stranger and loved cheering on his Cleveland Browns. He was a Trump supporter and could talk your ear off about trucks and tractors. Speaking of tractors, John looked forward to mowing his lawn and kept his yard immaculate. His friends and family will miss his feisty sense of humor and listening to his stories.

He is survived by his daughter and son-in-law Barbara & Kris Penhorwood of Mansfield; his son and daughter-in-law John Raymond & Holly Watson of Ashland; seven grandchildren James Watson, Ethan Whitaker, Emily Watson, Lance Whitaker, Megan Watson, Keely Dudley, and Aliya Watson; a great-granddaughter Amaira Watson; four siblings Thurman Watson, Kenneth (Jeanie) Watson, Kathleen (John) Cook, and Loren Watson; the mother of his children and lifelong friend, Barbara Watson; along with numerous nieces and nephews.

John was preceded in death by his parents Lee & Susie Watson and siblings Thelma Russell, Clarence Watson, Jr., Jeanette Watson, Beverly Platt, Larry Watson, Sharon Koon, and Mary Watson.

His family will receive friends 12 noon to 2pm on Thursday, November 21, 2019 in the Marion Avenue Snyder Funeral Home (350 Marion Ave in Mansfield) where a funeral service honoring his life will begin at 2pm officiated by Chaplain Dallas Waggle. Burial with military honors will be 11am Friday, November 22, 2019 at Ohio Western Reserve National Cemetery near Rittman, Ohio and all are welcome to attend. Contributions to the family may be made through the funeral home.

Snyder Funeral Homes is honored to serve John’s family and encourage you to leave them a message of condolence or share a memory of John at

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  • Rest in Peace Uncle John. Love and miss you already. Hug mammaw, pappaw and Rusty for me.

  • My heart is saddened the loss of my dear Uncle but am comforted that he is no longer in pain. I pray for peace for the family in this difficult time. Love you all so much.

  • Barbie, Raymond, Barb and family, please know you are all in my thoughts and prayers. For those of you that don’t know me, Barbie is my best childhood friend and after all these years still friends.. I have soo many memories of John. As I’ve told Barbie, he always knew how to make me laugh and was soo nice to me whenever I was over (which was alot). He always treated me like one of his kids. My heart is broken for all of you. Heaven has definitely gained a good one. I wish I could be there. I am there in spirit. Much love and hugs to all of you.
    – Julie Martinez

  • Sorry for your loss. When he asked for Thelma, my great grandma, the voice in the back of my head said he would get to see her soon. I will keep you all in my heart.