Virgil J. Watson of Grove died Thursday, Dec. 31, 2009, at Quapaw Higher Call Nursing Center after a battle with cancer. He was 68.

Mr. Watson was born Feb. 10, 1941, in Galena, Kan., to the Rev. Fred and Girtha (Avery) Watson. He graduated from Galena Schools in 1959.

During his teen years, he worked at Galena Motor. After graduation, he worked for a short while at Eagle-Picher and Missouri Steel before forming his own insurance agency, the Watson Agency, where he specialized in life insurance. He worked for 47 years as a self-employed insurance agent selling for many companies including United Heritage in which he held a seat on the board. He won many top salesmen and agency awards and set standards for many salesmen. He attended Elk River Baptist Church in Grove and, while living in Commerce, attended Southeast Baptist Church.

He married Mary Ann (Williams) Doke on Sept. 28, 1968. She preceded him in death.

He was also preceded in death by his parents and one brothers, Fred Watson Jr.

Survivors include three children and their spouses, Jay Watson and Penny and Ron Jones, all of Baxter Springs, Kan., and Terri and Rod Graves of Miami; two brothers, Lester Watson of Bartlesville and Raymond Watson of Commerce; one sister, Lanora Poteet of Commerce, and three grandchildren, Thomas Hughes and wife Emily of Lawrence, Kan., Kelsey Graves of Miami and Christina Jones Herrera of Baxter Springs.

Services will be 10 a.m. Wednesday at Paul Thomas Funeral Home of Miami. The Rev. Mark Hester, the Rev. Jerry VonMoss and the Rev. Geoff Buffalo will officiate. Burial will be in G.A.R. Cemetery in Miami.

Pallbearers will be Virgil Peck, Bud Garrett, Larry Hartman, Adam Robertson, James Graves and Todd Graves.

The family will receive friends from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at the funeral home.

Online condolences may be made at