Richard John Watters, 94, of Savannah, Georgia and husband of Mary Jane Comly Watters, died Sunday morning, November 8, 2020.
He was born in Buffalo, New York on May 18, 1926 to Richard John Watters, Jr. and Helen Cornelia Thompson. He was a member of his high school tennis and swimming teams and became an Eagle Scout and Assistant Scout Master. In 1944 he enlisted in the U.S. Navy for pilot training. He was sent to Hobart College in Geneva New York, and then to Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. In 1947 he received an honorable discharge. He graduated in 1948 with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering.
Richard joined Bell Telephone Laboratories, a division of AT&T, and stayed for 37 years. He took post-graduate courses in science, electrical engineering, and telephony. About 1960 his responsibilities shifted to managing the development of parts of the program to modernize the Telephone Switching Network by converting from electro-mechanical to computer and transistor technology.
Richard met Mary Jane Comly of Lincoln Park, New Jersey soon after joining Bell Labs where she was also employed. They were married in 1951 and had two children: Nancy Anne Watters of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada and Lynda Jayne Watters of Charlotte, North Carolina.
After retiring from Bell Labs in 1986 they moved to Savannah and lived at The Landings for 19 years before relocating to The Marshes of Skidaway in 2005.
Richard was a member of six churches during his life. He was a Presbyterian Elder. His last church was Skidaway Island United Methodist Church.
Richard participated in community affairs: The Landings Public Works Committee, the Skidaway Island Kiwanis Club, the Savannah Mediation Center, and The Marshes Resident Council. During his retirement he enjoyed travel, golf, bowling, tennis, and duplicate bridge.
In addition to his wife and daughters, Richard is survived by his sister, C. Anne Dresser of Orchard Park, New York, seven grandchildren, and twelve great-grandchildren.
Memorial gifts may be sent to the church.
The memorial service will be held at 2 o’clock, Thursday afternoon, at Skidaway Island Methodist Church, conducted by the Reverend Hale Bishop.