Cletus R. “Junior” Watson

Cletus R. “Junior” Watson, 73, of Onaway, died Tuesday, April 20, 2021 at McLaren Northern Michigan in Petoskey.  Born in Detroit December 30, 1947, Cletus, or as he was known in the community, “Junior,” was the son of Cletus and Emilie (Wagle) Watson.  Blessed with 54 years of marriage, he and Patricia “Pat” Ann Tennant married November 22, 1966 in Onaway.


An expert running a chain saw and skidder, Junior worked in the logging industry operating Watson Forest Products for many years before turning the reins over to his son, LeRoy.  He also was a darn good truck driver with years of experience hauling massive loads of timber down narrow muddy two-track roads or trucking down busy highways.  Junior loved his work in the woods and continued to visit jobs nearly every day after retiring.  Not one to sit and relax, Cletus could usually be found in his garage tinkering with a tractor, wrenching on equipment, torching, or welding on one of his projects.

When it was time for a little rest and relaxation Junior spent his time in his fishing boat on the small lakes south of Onaway. Loon Lake was his favorite where he, Pat, and their family spent several weeks each summer camping, fishing, and enjoying summertime.  He hunted and was a bit of a hobby farmer with a passion for tractors. He enjoyed tractor pulling with his grandsons and drove his tractor across the Mackinac Bridge several times in the annual tractor parade. Junior was a member of the Au Sable Valley Tractor Club, The Eastern U.P. Tractor Club and the Millersburg Fraternal Order of Eagles. 

Junior would do anything for anyone and always wanted to help his family and friends.  He was quite good at supervising projects and people and had a way of making sure things got done. He didn’t have a lot of patience for waiting and with a tad of a stubborn streak, could be set in his ways.  He definitely had his way of doing things. Junior will be sadly missed by all who knew and loved him.                    


ng is Junior’s wife, Patricia of Onaway; a son, LeRoy (Charlene) of Onaway; a daughter, Colleen Susan (Jim) Thompson of Hillman; five grandchildren, Taylor Ann, Casey, Dacota, Jesse and Izac; and the apple of his eye, great-granddaughter, Addison Grace. He also leaves his sister-in-law, Barbara Watson of Millersburg; brothers, Fred (Sharon) of Hillsdale and Bill (Chris) of Rogers City; and sisters, Helen Watson of Hillsdale and Sharon Lee Watson of Onaway.  Junior was preceded in death by an infant daughter, Sharon Mary; brothers, Barry and Allen; and his parents.

A graveside service will be held at noon Saturday, May 8, 2021 at Hillcrest Cemetery in Onaway.