ACU Sports Hall of Fame member dies at age 98

Posted April 17, 2007

Alton WatsonAlton C. Watson, a former three-sport letterman at Abilene Christian University and member of the ACU Sports Hall of Fame, died April 13 in Folsom, Calif., after a short bout with pneumonia.  He was 98.

Watson – known as "Rosie" Watson during his college days – was born March 23, 1909, in Nocona.  In 1932 he earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Abilene Christian, where he was the president of the Students' Association; editor of the yearbook; a letterman in football, baseball and track and field; and a member of Trojans social club. 

Watson – who was inducted into the ACU Sports Hall of Fame in February 2003 as the 12th recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award – was a longtime benefactor of the ACU athletics program, and for several years he hosted the track and field program on its frequent trips to the West Coast.

Not only was Watson a supporter of the ACU athletics program, he was also a member of the President's Circle, the Heritage Club of ACU and the National Development Council, a group that guided a multi-million dollar expansion program for the university. In September 2002, just a few months before being inducted into the ACU Sports Hall of Fame, Watson was honored by the university with a Distinguished Alumni Citation for his longtime support of the school. 

"Al Watson epitomized the best among our great alumni volunteers who provided leadership for so many wonderful events on the West Coast throughout his lifetime of service to his alma mater," said Dr. Robert Hunter, special assistant to the president of ACU.  "Al Watson represented the very best in his dedication to all that is good and worthwhile in this world.  His steadfast leadership as a member of the ACU National Development Council and his lifelong support of programs and projects at the university will be long remembered and deeply appreciated by all of us.  He was a great Christian friend to me and countless others."

Memorial services will be Friday, April 20, at 11 a.m. at the Orangevale (Calif.) Church of Christ near Sacramento, where family and friends will gather from across the United States to honor his life of service to others.  The family has asked that Dr. Hunter – a close friend of Watson’s for more than 40 years – participate in his funeral service.  In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Orangevale Church of Christ, 5915 Main Ave., Orangevale, CA 95662.