Colonel (ret.) Vaden Kenneth Watson, 70, died on Wednesday, March 11, 2009 at his home in Silver Springs. Ken was born on Sept. 27, 1938 in Winston-Salem, NC. Early in his life, his family moved to Lamont, FL where he attended Jefferson County schools, graduating in 1956. Ken graduated from the Citadel in 1960 and was commissioned into the U.S. Army. During his military career, he completed the Armed Forces Staff College at Ft. Leavenworth, KS, the National War College at Washington, DC and earned a MA from the University of Missouri. His first and most memorable tour of duty was with the 7th Cavalry in Germany. Soon to follow were two tours in Viet Nam, the first with the 1st Cavalry Division, tours in Europe and US Army posts. Among Ken’s military medals and awards, the one he most highly valued was the Combat Infantryman’s Badge. Ken retired in 1991 and began a second career, working for the State of Florida, helping veterans find jobs, from which he retired in 2002. Beneath his sometimes gruff exterior, lay a loyal, kind and generous heart. With Ken, “”Once a friend, always a friend””. He considered some of his closest friends, the “”boys”” with whom he grew up and attended school in Lamont, Monticello(FL) and at college. Ken loved his family, friends, pets, watching the sunset on the lake and the Florida Gators. He will be greatly missed by those who survive him. These include: his wife of 48 years, Brenda Wigelsworth Watson of Silver Springs, his children, Christopher of Silver Springs, Sarah and husband Bob Williams of The Woodlands, TX, Mandy and husband Mike Roberts of Ocala, his brother, Don Watson of Jacksonville and his grandchildren, Brenda Weber of Silver Springs, Vadey and Jason Williams of The Woodlands, TX and Mary Roberts of Ocala. For those who wish, the family requests memorial contributions may be made to Hospice, POB 4860, Ocala, FL 34478, Interfaith Emergency Services, POB 992, Ocala, FL 34478 or The Children’s Advocacy Center, 2131 SW 22nd PL, Ocala, FL 34471. Funeral services will be held on Monday, March 16, 2009 at 11:00 A.M. at Hiers-Baxley Funeral Services, 910 E. Silver Springs Blvd., Ocala with Rev. Warren Thompson officiating. Interment will be in Arlington National Cemetery. The family will receive friends from 9-11 AM. Tags: 1960

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