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Long-time area leader George E. Watson to be remembered and honored with fountain dedication
Members of the community will gather at 4 p.m., June 7 to honor the legacy and service of the late George E. Watson at a dedication ceremony for a fountain that has been built in his honor.
The fountain is located in southwest Munster off of Calumet Avenue, at the intersection of Donald S. Powers Drive and Harold P. Hagberg Drive. The fountain is the focal point of President’s Circle, which serves as the entryway to about 45 acres of land awaiting future development.
“It seems fitting to honor George Watson with a fountain that will grace our community like the many fine homes he built,” said Donald S. Powers, President and Chief Executive Officer of Community Foundation of Northwest Indiana. “This fountain honors his longstanding commitment to the growth and development of this community, and in particular the leadership he provided to The Community Hospital.”
The fountain dedicated to Watson measures 60 feet in diameter, and is two feet deep in the center. The massive round concrete structure with granite finish is surrounded by a stamped concrete walkway and a granite obelisk with a commemorative plaque. Submersible lighting accentuates the flowing water, which can be sprayed up to 20 feet high.
The commemorative plaque at the fountain reads:
The George E. Watson Memorial Fountain
May the sparkling waters of this fountain light up your life as George lit up the lives of those around him. ---1930-2001---
Dedicated June, 2002 in recognition of George E. Watson, Professional Engineer, for over 30 years of service to The Community Hospital as Vice President and Building Committee Chairman. His legacy lives on through the people he touched and the many fine homes he designed and built.
George E. Watson was born in Bradford, Pennsylvania in 1930 and grew up in Derrick City, a small oilfield community. After graduating with honors from Bradford High School in 1948, and again with honors from Penn State University in 1952, Watson accepted a job with American Oil in Indiana, where he worked as a design and construction engineer.
Watson joined Munster Medical Research Foundation in 1969, when Community Hospital in Munster was still a dream. He served 32 years continuously as chairman of the hospital board’s building committee, and diligently helped oversee the building of Community Hospital from a 104-bed medical/surgical facility to today’s 360-bed full service medical complex.
While on the hospital board’s building committee, Watson served as liaison between the hospital personnel, architect and construction company. In addition to serving as vice president and treasurer of Munster Medical Research Foundation, he also served as vice president of Community Foundation, Inc. (today known as Community Foundation of Northwest Indiana, Inc.). He held that leadership role from the foundation’s inception in 1985 until he passed away in the spring of 2001.
Watson also was a member of the Briar Ridge Country Club Board of Directors and the Briar Ridge Property Owners Association Board of Directors. He is survived by his wife, Janet, and eight grown children.
The fountain dedicated to Watson was designed by Philip Bachman of the Bachman Partnership, Ken Gurtowski, project architect; and was built by Hasse Construction Company, Inc., Sam Hutton, project manager.