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John Wayne Watson

March 16, 1944 November 7, 2017
John Wayne Watson
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Obituary for John Wayne Watson

John Watson
03/16/1944 – 11/07/2017

John Wayne Watson “graduated,” as he would say, from this life and on to heaven on November 7, 2017. Having contended with cancer for 9 months, John passed away at home in the presence of his wife of 50 years, Barbara Watson. He is survived by Barbara; their three children, Micah, Ben and Karly (Semenov); daughter-in-law, Julie Watson; son-in-law, Jenya Semenov; and eight grandchildren (Abigail, Anastasia, Annika, Alexandra, and John Jeffrey Watson; Aleksei, Josiah, and Dasha Semenov). He is preceded in death by his parents Wayland and Hilda Watson. He is also survived by a sister, Susan Watson Branham, residing in Santa Paula, California.
On March 16th, 1944, John’s mother struggled through a difficult labor and was afraid John wasn’t going to make it. She prayed that if God delivered her baby alive, she would dedicate him to the Lord’s service. God apparently complied, but John never heard about the prayer until after he became a pastor in his 20s.
John’s call to ministry was cemented by another brush with death 16 years later. A friend from church had invited him to go to the beach before their evening Sunday- school class. He and this friend were going to be speaking that night on the topic of “Are you ready?” (Presumably, are you ready for death). John couldn’t go to the beach because of having too much homework, so his friend and his friend’s little brother went without him. Later that afternoon, John got a call saying that his friend and his friend’s brother had both drowned. John said, “When I visited my friend at the mortuary, I decided: either life is a cosmic joke that has no meaning – that whatever happens, happens – and randomness is it, or there’s something to all this, bigger than life and death. I thought, “If that’s true, then what I’ve read in the Bible is true. Jesus is who He said He was, and I want to help people know Him and do whatever I can to help with this problem we call death.”
The rest of John’s life was definitely dedicated to helping people know, love, and serve Jesus Christ and deal with the problem of death. He served in five Presbyterian churches: four in California (Orange, Danville, Merced, and La Jolla) and the fifth in Boerne, Texas. In each of these places, he challenged his congregations to know Jesus personally, not simply know about him.
After retiring from the pulpit in 2009, John took up work as a hospice chaplain. His niche was in leading bereavement groups – helping those who lost loved ones cope. Those who knew him as both a pastor and a bereavement group facilitator enjoyed getting to know him on a more personal level and commented on how tremendous he was at helping others navigate their loss. Now it’s beautiful to see how those very same people are comforting his family now.
Before going to the hospital to get his tumor removed last March, he wrote, “He [God] is using this to bring me home or he will leave me here temporarily.” Although his family and friends are saddened to be without him, they are thrilled by the fact that he is truly home. This man, born on 3/16, lived and now lives again to proclaim John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
A service will be held Saturday, November 11, 2017 at 2:00 p.m. at St. John Lutheran Church in Boerne on In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be sent to Samaritan’s Purse International Relief at To leave condolences for the family, please visit and select Obituaries.
Arrangements with Ebensberger-Fisher Funeral Home of Boerne.

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Previous Events

Memorial Service




2:00 PM 11/11/2017 2:00:00 PM
St. John Lutheran Church

315 Rosewood Ave
Boerne, Texas 78006

St. John Lutheran Church
315 Rosewood Ave Boerne 78006 Texas
United States

Memorial Contribution

Samaritan’s Purse International Relief


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