On July 28, 2020, our beloved husband, father, and friend went into the arms of his Lord. Bruce was born on August 15, 1951 to Catherine and Theodore Watson, in Orange, NJ. He was 68 years old. Bruce met his wife, Sue of 47 years at Toms River High School in NJ. He was 19, she was 17. Bruce and Sue were blessed with three children, Frederick Theodore “Ricky” Watson and his wife Suzette, Victoria Dawn Watson Longo and her husband, Peter and Brian “Scotty” Watson. He was a wonderful family man, especially enjoyed spending time with his grandson, Peter W. Longo, III, playing monster truck, GRRRRRRRR. Bruce joined the US Navy in 1972 and proudly served for 21 years. Bruce retired from active duty from the Naval Experimental Diving Unit (NEDU) after several dives. He also served on the USS Opportune (ARS-41) from November 1973-May 1977; the USS LY Spear (AS-36) from November 1977-June 1979; the USS Ortolon (ASR-22) from November 1985-December 1989. During his career he helped bring up the Challenger and open the Suez Canal. He was the Chaplain for the ASR-ARS (Rescue-Salvage) Association. Bruce prayed diligently for his servicemen, family, Pastors and Country. He was the first one saved at Living World Fellowship with Pastor Jed Vaughn and Pastor Hayward Miller. He attended Eastgate Christian Family Church under the guidance of Rob Woodrum. He spent the majority of his years at Gulf Beach Baptist Church (The Church at the Beach) with Dr. Gregory George and Pastor Rudy Guta. After retiring from the military, Bruce attended Gulf Coast State College. He graduated Magna-Cum-Laude with his AS Degree and then became an EMS and achieved the Top Gun award from the Correctional Officer Program. Arrangements have been made at Kent-Forest Lawn Funeral Home, 2403 Harrison Avenue, Panama City, FL 32405 for August 15, 2020. Visitation will be from 3-4 pm with funeral services at 4pm. Pastor Rudy Guta and Dr. Gregory George form Gulf Beach Baptist Church will be officiating. Neysa Wilkin Semmler will sing and Patrice Floyd (renowned violinist) will perform. The family requests that all attending to PLEASE WEAR MASKS. A few days later there will be a military service at the Tallahassee National Cemetery. In October, the ARS-ASR will honor Bruce with a Naval Memorial Service. His sons will place a wreath at sea and the Navy bell will ring seven times and taps will be played in Branson, MO. The family wants to extend a sincere Thank You to the nurses at Gulf Coast Medical Center, Debbie, Kelly, Lisa, Steve and Cameron. In lieu of flowers, if you wish to make a donation, please send to: Man in the Sea Museum, 17314 Panama City Beach Parkway, Panama City Beach, FL 32413 or to the ASR-ARS Association (Rescue – Salvage) , 159 Wormingford Drive, Taylorsville, KY 40071.
Click here to view a webcast of the service on 8/15/2020 at 03:55 PM, Central Standard Time.
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