Rae Jean Watson

Rae Jean Watson

MARQUETTE, MI – Rae Jean (Jean) Watson, 78, of Marquette, passed away July 29, 2019 at Trillium House in the presence of her loving family and under the care of Lake Superior Life Care and Hospice.

Jean was born on September 28, 1940 in Joliet, Illinois, a daughter of the late Robert and Verna Mae (Kakara) Maday. She attended St. Francis Academy in Joliet, graduating in 1958. A year later, she married Wilfred Watson, her husband of 41 years. Jean and Wilfred resided in rural Illinois until moving to the Upper Peninsula in 1973 to own and operate a resort in Paulding, Michigan, catering to hunting and fishing and known for its iconic five- story wooden windmill. Jean also owned a wholesale supply business for many years.

Jean enjoyed reading, swimming at the YMCA, trips to the ocean, discussing politics and watching the Chicago Cubs. She loved dancing around the house to music, especially to Elvis tunes, and celebrated her 70th birthday visiting Graceland and listening to Memphis blues. She was fun and extremely easy going and loved nothing more than spending time with her grandchildren, who adored their Grandma Jean.

Survivors include three daughters, Jeanette (Hector) Flores of Tampa, FL, Jacqueline Barry of Marquette and Lori (Jim) Steinberg of Steamboat Springs, CO; five grandchildren, Roberto and Maria Jean Flores, Eric (Jenny) Watson, Mitchell Barry and Matthew Lause; one great grandson, Benjamin Watson; three siblings, Roberta Maday of Los Angeles, CA, John (Sue) Maday of Joliet, IL and June (Larry) Anthony of New Lenox, IL; also surviving are several nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her husband, Wilfred, son-in-law, Fred Barry, and niece, Kimberly Baker.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Saturday, August 17th at 6 p.m. in St. Michael Catholic Church with the Rev. Greg Heikkala officiating. Following the mass, friends and family are invited to visit the home of Jacqueline Barry to share memories of Jean.

The Canale-Tonella Funeral Home is assisting the Watson family. Messages of remembrance and condolences may be shared at canalefuneral.com.