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Frederick William Watson, Jr.
December 16, 1968 ~ November 21, 2023 (age 54) 54 Years Old
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Frederick William Watson, Jr. of St. James, Missouri passed away Tuesday, November 21, 2023 at his daughter’s home with many family members and friends by his side. He was 54 years of age.
Frederick, the son of Hilda (Morgan) Laing and his stepdad, George Laing, was born December 16, 1968 in Keyser, Virginia.
Frederick is survived by his daughter, Hunter Casados and husband, Kevin of St. James, Missouri; his two sons: Frederick Watson and Cooper Watson of St. James, Missouri; his mother, Hilda Laing and his stepdad, George Laing of Jeffersonton, Virginia; his grandsons, Luca Casados and Mateo Casados of St. James, Missouri; and his niece, Samantha Cunningham of Jeffersonton, Virginia.
He is preceded in death by his grandparents; his sister, Danielle Cunningham; and his niece, Alice Ruth Cunningham.
Frederick was full of life; knowing Frederick was to experience his quick wit and his big heart. Many persons were blessed by his giving whether being a friend, a co-worker, or a comrade. Frederick was a very talented artist, and this talent inspired him to start his own business, the “One Eyed Blue Monkey.” Being a well-respected tattoo artist, Frederick was known as “Freddy Vegas” by his fellow inkers and clients; he designed and tattooed his creations in the Fort Leonard Wood area for 20-plus years.
Frederick had a beautiful family; his children’s hearts were full of love, support, and acceptance. His daughter, Hunter, had cared for him in her home for the last several months. She penned a few words this morning reflecting on her dad’s personality and his passing. She shared her challenges of loving someone so big and then having to say goodbye and her challenges of loving family members along with their personal battles and having to stay strong and true. Hunter and her family would like to share her words as a farewell of love to her father.
Hunter shares, “My dad passed this morning. He fought a good fight for 6 months battling stage four pancreatic cancer. He held on as long as he could for his kids, grandkids, and loved ones. And he fought this disease with much more grace than I could imagine. Losing a parent to cancer is like grieving before they’re even gone. It’s staring at their face while they talk hoping to memorize every detail, praying if you try hard enough you’ll never forget the sound of their voice or laugh. It’s looking at a shadow of a person you once knew, with sunken cheek bones and a thinner body than you remember. Arms that use to carry you and wrap around you look so different now. And you’re just grateful their smile is still the same. It’s begging God to not let today be the last with them.
My dad wasn’t an easy person to love. He battled mental illness. He could be a hot head at times and if you knew him, it’s likely you’ve had a difficult encounter or two.
But for every “bad” day, I could tell you about a hundred good ones. I could tell you he was generous and I remember every time he paid it forward to others. That he loved life fiercely and took every day as an opportunity to make the most of it. That before he got sick he started jiu-jitsu and he was so proud of that accomplishment. I’d tell you about how much he loved his kids (he reminded us constantly that he thought we were God’s greatest creations) and he’d always back me up, even when I was wrong. I’d talk about all the nights we spent dancing in the kitchen together. How he’s called me “scooch” my entire life and I can count on one hand the amount of times he’s told me no. He lit up every time he saw my boys and loved them so much. He had a sense of humor until the very end and had us all laughing.
I knew my dad was dying, but six months ago I didn’t. Life gives no guarantees. I thought I had so much longer to love my dad and the guilt I have for not being there more is inexplicably difficult. Hug your loved ones and please keep our family in your prayers.”
Frederick served in the military for 8 years; he fought in the Gulf War in the early 1990s. He earned several awards in his service to our country: Army Achievement Medal, Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, Expert Badge Rifle, Southwest Asia Service Medal with 3 Bronze Stars, and Kuwait Liberation Medal. He was a disabled veteran for the past 6 years. He was also a member of the St. James Masonic Lodge #230 AF and AM.
Burial arrangements will be shared at a later date.
Arrangements are under the direction of Jones Funeral Home in St. James, Missouri.