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Merle S. Watts, DVM

Embraced by the loving arms of Jesus Christ, his Lord and Savior, Merle passed away at home in Tucson, AZ on December 27, 2011 at age 85. He was born September 14, 1926 to H. Franklin and Matie A. Watts and was raised on their farm near Quenemo, in eastern KS. He was the oldest of three children, along with brother Earl Ray (deceased) and sister Margery. Following his two-year service in the US Marine Corps, he attended and graduated from Kansas State College in 1953 with a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree.

Merle married “Louie” Kitchen in Manhattan, KS on September 8, 1953 and worked in Tulsa, OK for two years. In 1955, they moved to Colorado Springs where he built the Fillmore Veterinary Hospital, specializing in the care of dogs and cats. For 35 years, he appreciated relationships with his many long-term clients as he cared for their pets. He was actively involved with local and national veterinary associations.

Merle was actively engaged in several community activities. He was a founding board member and president of what eventually became the Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region. He was an active 35-year member and past President of the North-end Rotary Club of Colorado Springs. As a Boy Scout volunteer in two troops, he encouraged and supported both of his sons to achieve the rank of Eagle Scout.

Merle had a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus and was thankful for God’s grace and mercy in his life every day. In Colorado Springs, he was a long-time member at Evangelical Presbyterian Church (now Grace Presbyterian) and then at First Presbyterian Church. He served in a variety of roles including Sunday school teacher, usher, youth group leader and deacon. In Tucson, he was an elder and member of two Presbyterian churches.

Merle loved his family and spent time with all of them when possible. After retiring and moving to Tucson, he spent summers in Colorado to be with his grandchildren and watch them grow up. With his children, he successfully transitioned from the parent-child role to adult-adult relationships, which he cherished. Merle made friends easily and valued his many long-time friendships.

Having a lifelong interest in Christian missions work around the world, he faithfully supported many missionary friends. During his retirement years, he participated in numerous short-term missions coordinated by Christian Veterinary Mission in Haiti, Peru and Mexico. In addition, his retirement activities included hiking and woodworking.

Because of his eye for detail and precision, he made excellent pieces of furniture, bowls and vases. He especially enjoyed lathe work and made hundreds of pens that were sent to deployed troops. As an outdoorsman, Merle enjoyed hiking many of the highest peaks in Colorado, Arizona and surrounding states.

Merle is survived by his wife of 58 years, Louie of Tucson, AZ, four children and six grandchildren: son, Dean (Pam) of Colorado Springs with Amy and Brian; son, Dale (Janet) of Denver with Christina, David and Stephanie; daughter, Ruth (Paul) Jeffries of Ripon, WI; daughter, Rosemary (Joe) Dreyer of St. Louis, MO with Rosalind. He is also survived by his sister, Margery, nephews and nieces.

A memorial service will be held Saturday, January 14, 2012 at 10:30 AM at Grace Presbyterian Church, 2511 North Logan Avenue, Colorado Springs, with a reception following the service. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in Merle’s name may be sent to either the Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region, 610 Abbott Lane, Colorado Springs, CO 80905 or to Christian Veterinary Mission, 19303 Fremont Ave. N., Seattle, WA 98133

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