Gayle Hur “Watty” Watkinson died on May 28, 2023. He was 86 years old. Gayle was born in Lexington, Nebraska. His family moved to Fort Collins in 1945 when he was 8 years old. Gayle graduated from Fort Collins High School in 1955 where he made life long friends.
Gayle and Sally, his wife of 67 years, met on the “oval” as Aggie students. After marrying, Gayle worked briefly as a roughneck, followed with a long career with Woodward Governor. He held a strong work ethic and volunteer commitment. Gayle organized many company Christmas parties, picnics and bingo parties. He and Sally bowled in the Woodward league. They also enjoyed square dancing and a gourmet dinner club. Gayle was a cub scout leader when his sons were young.
Gayle had a passion for classic cars and hot rods. He worked with his father at Watty and Sons Sinclair station when in high school which was a gathering spot for teens and car talk. Later, he liked taking his family for rides in his Nissan Patrol and was a part of the “Jeep” club.
In his middle age, Gayle joined the jogging craze and participated in races. He was also naturally good at fixing and building things. He and Sally enjoyed home projects.
After retiring, Gayle assembled Neighborhood Night Out gatherings when living in Indian Hills. That event grew from just a few neighbors on their street to well over 100 people.
Gayle was a president of the Pioneer Association in which he participated with Sally.
Elks Lodge #804 was an important aspect of Gayle’s life for more than 50 years. He served as Exalted Ruler in 2000 and was Elk of the Year in 2005. He was an active member appreciating friendships made while accomplishing the activities he helped the lodge sponsor.
And finally, nothing could keep Gayle from his Tuesday morning coffee klatch with friends at McDonalds!
Gayle was preceded in death by his parents, Wendell and Pearl Watkinson and hisbrother, Ron. He is survived by his wife, Sally; his daughters Karla Kim (Ramin) Younessi and Lisa Walters; his twin sons Wes and Les (Lori) Watkinson; and his grandchildren Lauren Walters, Gage Watkinson, Jessica and Allie Watkinson.
A memorial service will be held at Elks Lodge #804 in Fort Collins on Saturday, June 10th. The service will be performed by the Elks and begins at 11:00 sharp. Please arrive early with a reception to follow.