Wendell Clay Watts was born on December 27, 1922 in Badger, Iowa, the middle son of Frank and Minnie (Smith) Watts. He married Lois Thorson in June 1948; she died in January 1960. He married Zola Hacker in July 1961; she died March 2012. He married Ruth Bahan in December 2012; she died February 2017.
A life-long Lutheran, Wendell was baptized and confirmed at St. Olaf Lutheran in Fort Dodge, Iowa. He graduated from Fort Dodge High School in 1941. He enlisted in the United States Navy Air Corps in 1942 and was called into service in 1943. He trained as a pilot and was stationed in the South Pacific where he flew TBM’s until the end of WW II. He served his country proudly. Upon returning home, he graduated from Drake University with a business degree. Over his career in sales and management he worked in Iowa City, Marshalltown, Cedar Rapids, and Sioux City. He had the gift of gab like his dad and talked to absolutely everyone. He and Zola retired to Lake of the Ozarks in 1982 where they established great community and church relationships. They relocated in 2006 to Davenport Lutheran Home where he continued his friendly banter, sense of humor, and outgoing ways.
In addition to his wives, Wendell was preceded in death by a brother, Ted Watts, his son-in-law, Arnie Irwin, 2 infant children, and a granddaughter, Kim Hacker.
Wendell died on February 18, 2019. He is survived by his brother Edgerly (Pat) Watts, Cedar Rapids, 3 children, Cynthia Irwin, Davenport, Kristine (Keith) Roberson, Oklahoma City, and Bob (Maureen) Hacker, Omaha, 6 grandchildren, and 12 great-grandchildren.
Wendell’s family would like to thank the staff of Davenport Lutheran Home for appreciating Wendell for who he was and caring for his every need.
A funeral for Wendell will be held March 8, 2019 at 1:00 p.m. at Davenport Lutheran Home Chapel. Memorials may be made to Honor Flight of the Quad Cities or to a charity of the donor’s choice.