Royal Watts

Obituary of Royal James Watts

Royal James Watts of Fairmont passed away on June 1, 2024, at the age of 92. Born in Alvy, WV on December 5, 1931, he was the third child of William Jackson and Dorothy Gregory Watts. Royal graduated from Tyler County High School, in Middlebourne, West Virginia in 1949. Immediately following graduation, Royal entered the United States Air Force and served four years as a radar technician during the Korean War at Chanute Air Force Base in Illinois. Following his military service, Royal enrolled at West Virginia University (WVU)where he received Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Geology. Royal’s first job was at Schlumberger in the well services division. In 1967, he began his career with the Department of Energy in Morgantown, retiring in 1995. Throughout his life, Royal was involved in activities supporting the First United Methodist Church. After retiring, Royal also supported various organizations including the Marion County Historical Society & Museum and the Prickett’s Fort Memorial Foundation. He and his wife, Janice Irene, traveled all over the US, visiting friends and relatives along the way. Royal was also an avid stamp and coin collector and loved western movies and books, and of course the WVU Mountaineers. Royal was preceded in death by his wife of 55 years, Janice Irene Estep Watts, by his parents, William Jackson and Dorothy Gregory Watts, his sister, Onala Virginia Watts Givens, and her husband, Lonnie Givens, of Ann Arbor, Michigan, his brother, William Grant Watts, and his wife, Millie Watts, of Weirton, and his brother Royce Jackson Watts and his wife, Caroline Baker Watts, of Morgantown. Royal is survived by his daughter Lara Marie Watts of Potomac Falls, VA. In lieu of flowers, the family has requested memorial donations be made in the memory of Janice to the Janice & Royal Watts RBA Scholarship. Visit or mail to Fairmont State Foundation, 1300 Locust Avenue, Fairmont, WV 26554. Arrangements have been entrusted to the Ford Funeral Home, Ford Chapel 201 Columbia Street, Fairmont, WV 26554. A graveside service will be held on Friday, June 21 at 1:00 pm at Woodlawn Cemetery in Fairmont with Reverand Larry Buckland officiating. Online condolences may be made to the family at