Reverend John E. “Father Jack” Watterson, 82, died Sunday, December 22,
2019. Born in Newport, RI, son of the late Chief John E. Watterson, Newport FD and
Edith M. (Rafferty) Watterson, he attended St. Mary School and De La Salle
Academy, both in Newport. In preparation for the priesthood,
he studied at Our Lady of Providence Seminary, Warwick;
St. Mary Seminary, Baltimore, MD; and the American
College, Louvain, Belgium. He was ordained on July 1, 1962 in Louvain by
Bishop Honore Van Waeyenburgh.
After ordination, he served as Chaplain at St. Joseph Hospital, Providence
(1962-66). In 1966 he became a U.S. Army Chaplain, serving until 1992 in
various parts of the world with the rank of Colonel, and earning four Bronze
Stars. After returning from the Army, he became Chaplain at Memorial
Hospital, Pawtucket, with residence at St. Mary Parish, Pawtucket (1992-94).
In 1994, Father Watterson was appointed part-time Chaplain at the R.I.
Medical Center, Cranston and part-time Director of the Office of Health Care
Ministries of the Diocese of Providence. In 1996, he became pastor of St. Mary,
Pawtucket, while continuing at the R.I. Medical Center and the Office of Health
Care Ministries. In 2001, he was appointed pastor of St. Mary, Star of the Sea
Parish in Narragansett, and was named Dean of Deanery VIII in 2006. Father
Watterson retired as Pastor Emeritus of St. Mary, Star of the Sea Parish in
2008. During his retirement years, he resided within the Diocese of Fall River,
He leaves three siblings, William Watterson of Portsmouth, RI; James
Watterson of Westport; and Kathleen Watterson of Fall River; and many nieces
and nephews. He was also the brother of the late Marilyn O’Shea, Stephen
Watterson and Daniel Watterson.
Visitation will be held Friday, January 3, from 3:00 P.M. to 7:00 P.M.
at St.Theresa’s Church, 265 Stafford Rd. Tiverton.
A Concelebrated Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for Father’s soul on
Saturday, January 4, at 10:00 A.M. at St. Theresa’s Church.
Burial is Monday, January 6 at 12 Noon at RI Veteran’s Cemetery, Exeter.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to St. Theresa’s Church, 265
Stafford Rd, Tiverton, RI 02878; or to Catholic Memorial Home, 2446 Highland
Ave., Fall River, MA 02720.
Arrangements by Auclair Funeral Home, Fall River.
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