Ian Watt

Ian Donald Watt

Thursday, May 31st, 1951 - Thursday, May 21st, 2020
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WATT, Ian Donald

Ian Donald Watt passed away at home in Guelph on Wednesday, May 21, 2020. Loving husband to the late Sue Watt, father of daughters Jennifer (Steve) Watt and Alissa Watt, brother to Linda Watt, Janet (Bob) Bryant, and Donna Jordan, and predeceased by parents Noreen and Donald Watt, son-in-law to Carol and George Simons and brother-in-law to Dale and Charles Forder and survived by many nieces and nephews. Longtime best friend to Jenn George.

Some will remember Ian for his sense of humour, epic storytelling, large English gardens, love of wildlife, eye for photography, and bottomless pot of coffee. Jennifer and Alissa will remember his love and unwavering support, his endearing stubbornness and teaching them to canoe “the right way.” Although in recent years he wasn’t always able to connect with old friends, he spoke of them frequently and with affection. Now that he’s gone we can reveal his closely guarded lifelong secret: he wasn’t actually a grump, but someone who cared deeply about those close to him and the animals he encountered during his 68 years on this earth.

The family will be holding a private service in the days to come. If so desired, memorial donations to BECO (Bird Ecology and Conservation Ontario), or to a charity of choice would be appreciated by the family.
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Service Details

  • Interment

    Bayfield Cemetery
    35102 Mill Rd.
    Bayfield, Ontario N0M 1G0
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


Donations are being accepted for: Bird Ecology and Conservation Ontario.


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Nancy MacDonald

Posted at 06:21pm
I met Ian in 1989, through his dear wife, Sue. Sue and I taught together at the Adult Learning Center. I was the new kid in town, a city girl. Sue tried to give me the scoop about living on the Bruce Peninsula. One day, she called and said, Ian shot a deer and it's hanging up in our shed. Come over and see it. So I did, and I met Ian and saw the deer. It was fascinating. In 1991, Ian said he had a cat on his property that was bothering Mittens and Marbles, so he trapped it. Did I want it? He had it in the truck. I said, "I'll look at it, bring it over." He drove over and threw the cat right into my house and drove away! I ended up having that lovely cat for 15 years. Alyssa said, "Name it Sophie," and so I did. I think we all knew that Ian was really a sweetie, and a wonderful husband and father. I am sad to learn of his passing. My deepest sympathies to the girls, Jennifer and Alyssa. I still sometimes think of your mom, too.

Barry Earle

Posted at 01:18pm
It was so thoughtful of Jennifer and Alissa to phone me about Ian’s death and I am so grateful. Although we had been out of touch for a decade, when we worked together for the Ministry of Natural Resources Rabies Unit in the 70s our whole unit was very close. It was always last names too: Johnston, Voight, Watt, Earle, Lotimer, Matejka. Ian and I were both Sir Sandford Fleming College graduates too or “trees” as we were called. Man, the locals in Lindsay hated us but when we students did run amok in our dark green leather jackets throughout the town, in the bars and on the river. Some of us were very naughty for sure.

When I had my job interview it was Ian who encouraged my hiring; thank you Sir. My time with the Rabies Unit was intense and Ian was in the thick of it too. We were both Resource Technicians for the Ministry and spent much time together in the lab at Maple and in the field out of Angus (live in lovely Anguish as I would say). We trapped, collared, tracked and babysat for hours those foxes, coyotes, skunks and raccoons. We shared many other dirty jobs too: making up “stinky” baits for vaccine distribution in the field, or "master-baiting" as we joked, autopsies on long since dead study and collected animals, stomach contents analysis and tooth extractions from autoclaved rabid fox skulls- man that was a yummy afternoon we shared.

I enjoyed his comradeship, always. He even presented me with one of his father’s hand- made knives, which I still have. Later, my family enjoyed the odd visit to that lovely stone house above Colpoys Bay. After Sue died we would see each other only occasionally. My young daughter aged 11 or 12 was especially impressed that her father had a friend who would show up in our Waterloo driveway out of the blue on a really cool and noisy hog. Those were good visits as we looked out over the Grand R. and reminisced. When I heard of his death, I cried deeply. I will miss you Ian Watt. ...Barry Earle, Kitchener

dave mccowan

Posted at 05:00pm
Hi Everyone. Ian taught me something I've never forgotten and I wish others could follow his lead as well.
Ian and I used to build homes together for customers on the Bruce Peninsula. One day a customer commented that Ian and I should be proud to be leaving our mark on the world by building the houses. Ian was never shy about challenging another persons opinion and replied that he would rather make no mark on the world whatsoever, and 'Leave the campsite the way he found it'. Always true to his word, Ian was a good camper. D McCowan

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