Chester "Chet" Watson, Jr.

Obituary of Chester "Chet" A. Watson, Jr.

With family by his side, Chet was called home on Christmas morning. Born in South Sulphur, Texas on Flag Day, (June 14) 1937 he was destined to a long and distinguished career and service to his country.  At the age of 19, Chet embarked on a 45-year journey of combined military and civilian service. Shortly after enlisting in the Navy and a very intense interview with Admiral Rickover, Chet began working in the nuclear power program and was incredibly proud to be stationed on the guided missile cruiser, USS Long Beach (CGN-9) during Operation Sea Orbit. This 1964 around-the-world cruise also consisted of USS Enterprise (CVAN-65), and USS Bainbridge (DLGN-25).  Taking sixty-five days to complete, the all-nuclear-powered envoy steamed 30,565 miles without refueling and was a testament to American technological achievement. Chet was later stationed in Mare Island, CA and Pearl Harbor, HI and then to Electric Boat/MAO in Schenectady, where he worked to perfect design and construction of 688-class submarine propulsion plants. After retiring from the Navy as a Lieutenant Commander, Chet continued civilian service as a liaison for the Department of Energy at the Kesselring Site and KAPL.   

Chet also gave back to his community and proudly served on the board of St. Joseph’s Church in Scotia, was President of the Capital Region Maritime Center, Navy League and served on committees for Schenectady 2000, and the Glenville GLDC. Chet was also involved in the restoration of the Gillette House in the Historic Stockade and he worked with FEMA and local Historical Societies to restore businesses and historical sites in Canajoharie and Fort Plain NY damaged by Hurricane Irene.  

Chet would tell you he was lucky enough to have married two wonderful women.  His first love Elizabeth (Lipsky) was called home in 1965.  Chet married Susan (Johnson) in 1967 and they shared a 50-year love story. Together, they instilled lessons of love, faith, and service to their children and grandchildren. Chet and Susan enjoyed traveling the world with great friends and lived each day to the fullest before Susan was called home in 2017.   

Chet is predeceased by his mother Willie Duncan. Chet is survived by his children Mark (Mary) Watson of Bremerton, WA, Marie (Michael) Ricciardi of Chantilly, VA, Michael Watson of Glenville, NY, Christina (Steven) Meier of Latham, NY, and Heather (Wayne) Peterson of Glenville, NY; his grandchildren, Genevieve, Mark Jr. (Maechelle), Michele, Domenic, Jennifer, Reece, Shannon, as well as great-grandchildren, Enrique, Damien, and Isabella. Chet is also survived by his dear friend Marge Reynheer.  

The family gives special thanks to Dr. Anthony Jones, Alon B. Jacobs Friedman, FNP, and all the wonderful nurses at Albany Medical Center with a special nod to Chet’s final nurse Angie. We are forever grateful for their compassion.       

Chet will be laid to rest with full military honors at Saratoga National at the discretion of the family. If you wish to honor Chet, consider making a donation in his name to one the charities he supported:  SUNY Schenectady, Proctors Theatre, Schenectady Boys & Girls Club, Schenectady City Mission, and St. Joseph’s Church in Scotia.  Online condolences may be made at 

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Chester "Chet"