Obituary: the Rev. Watson loved to teach, host international students
The Rev. Watson enjoyed teaching English-as-a-second-language classes and hosting international students in his family's home.
Seattle Times staff reporter
Dave Watson, the Kent man who died July 4 while sledding in Mount Rainier's Paradise area, was a beloved Green River Community College instructor and host for international students learning English, according to his colleagues.
He also was an ordained minister, according to his daughter, Leah Watson.
After the Rev. Watson, 51, broke through about 4 feet of snow near Edith Creek on Wednesday, he was swept 30 feet down the creek while underneath the snow, according to Mount Rainier National Park spokeswoman Patti Wold.
One of his children called for help from National Park Service rangers, who started CPR on the Rev. Watson after finding him submerged. He was pronounced dead after being airlifted to a nearby hospital.
The Rev. Watson started teaching intensive English-as-a-second-language classes at Green River Community College five years ago, but he had been teaching the language to nonnative speakers for decades, said Cyndi Rapier, who worked with him at the college's international housing program.
After teaching English in China for two years in the early '90s, he started teaching English as a second language at what is now Arcadia University in Pennsylvania. He met his wife Jungsoon "Jamie" Watson, a Korean émigré, there.
As the couple raised four children — Leah, David, Anna and Stephen — they also took two international students at a time into their home. Rapier said the family had hosted at least 22 students since 2004.
Leah Watson said the openness of her family's home stemmed from her father's love of learning and his Christianity.
"It was part of his calling to reach out to the world," she said.
Rapier and the Rev. Watson's friend Joshua Gerstman said the Rev. Watson was a gregarious type who was always happy to run his children and international students to school, sports games, cultural events and the airport.
"Any time of day or night, Dave would volunteer to greet and pick up new students at the airport," Rapier said.
A memorial service will be held for the Rev. Watson at 7 p.m. Monday at Kent Covenant Church, 12010 S.E. 240th St., Kent.
Material from The Associated Press was included in this report.
Alexa Vaughn: 206-464-2515 or email@example.com