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Memorial Services Today at YSU for Frank Watson

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Memorial services will be held today at 11 a.m. at The Watson and Tressel Training Site on the campus of Youngstown State University for businessman and philanthropist Frank C. Watson, who died Thursday.

A lifelong member of the Canfield United Methodist Church, Watson leaves  his wife of almost 68 years, Norma Jeanne (Hitchcock); two daughters – Janet Stephens (Jeff) and Ellen Tressel (Jim), four grandchildren and two great grandchildren.

He was 92.

Watson was born Oct. 6, 1924 in Webster, N.Y., but lived in Youngstown most of his life. He graduated from Webster High School and entered Case Institute of Technology (currently Case Western Reserve University). He served in the US Navy (Pacific Theater) from 1943-46 during World War II.

Returning from the war, Frank entered Youngstown College and graduated in 1949 with a B.S. in engineering.

He was the driving force behind many academic and athletic endeavors at Youngstown State University and his behind the scenes help has allowed the university to grow immensely over the years.

His “get involved” attitude led him to the presidency of The Youngstown Welding and Engineering Co., a post he held from 1959 to 1988. He was a member of the American Society of Naval Engineers and a member of the American Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers.

He served on the boards of banks, Ohio Edison Company, Youngstown State University, the local school board, hospital, and YMCA. He is a past-president of the Youngstown Area Chamber of Commerce.

One of his greatest dreams was realized when he served as the campaign general chairman of the YSU All Sports Complex, which helped raise $16 million for the athletic facilities at the university. In addition to the sports complex, he and his wife contributed over $3 million toward the indoor training facility appropriately named the W.A.T.T. S. – Watson and Tressel Training Site, and most recently the Frank and Norma Watson Student Success Center at YSU.

Frank was a member of the Western Star Masonic Lodge, a 33rd degree Scottish Rite Mason and a member of the Al Koran Shrine Club. An avid hunter and fisherman, he was a lifelong member of the Duquense Hunting and Fishing Club, a member of the Castalia Trout Club, and Rockwell Springs Trout Club.

He will be interred at the North Jackson Township Cemetery, North Jackson.
There are no calling hours.

In lieu of flowers, material contributions to honor Frank can be made to:
The YSU Foundation, The Frank and Norma Watson Student Success Center, 655 Wick Avenue, Youngstown, OH 44502; or The Canfield United Methodist Church, Trustees Maintenance Fund, 27 S. Broad St, Canfield, 44406

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.