ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. — Dr. John J. Watson, 45, professor of marketing in the School of Business at St. Bonaventure University, died unexpectedly Friday, May 18.
His passing comes just 13 months after the death of his father, Dr. John G. Watson, dean of the School of Business and a beloved member of the St. Bonaventure faculty for 35 years.
A Funeral Mass will take place at 4 p.m. Monday at St. Bonaventure Parish in Allegany, followed by a funeral supper at the Magnano Centre (Hickey Dining Hall) on campus. Since parking around the parish is limited, guests are invited to park on campus and pick up a shuttle by the statue of Mary next to Hickey Dining Hall starting at 2:45 p.m.
“Our community is just heartbroken by this news,” said Sr. Margaret Carney, O.S.F., S.T.D., university president. “After the loss of his father last year, this is almost impossible to comprehend. John was such a rising star in our School of Business, much like his dad was 30 years ago. We will do everything we can to support his family during this tragic time.”
A native of Franklinville, N.Y., Dr. John J. Watson graduated from Archbishop Walsh High School in Olean.
He earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration from Bucknell University in 1988 and his master’s in business administration from Bucknell in 1989. He earned his Ph.D. in marketing in 1996 from Penn State, where he was a graduate assistant in the Department of Marketing.
Watson played basketball at Bucknell and spent two years after college, 1989 to 1991, playing professionally in Ireland and England. He was also a former coach, owner and president of the Canterbury Rams in the New Zealand National Basketball League and was named Coach of the Year in 2002.
Watson was a former assistant and associate professor in the Department of Management at The University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand, from 1996 to 2008. He was highly involved with students at Canterbury, where he founded the Business and Sport Management Society, chaired the International Student Exchange Committee and served on the university’s MBA Board of Directors. He received the Best Teacher Award in 1997 and 2006 as a faculty member in Canterbury’s College of Business and Economics.
He first joined the faculty at St. Bonaventure as a visiting professor in the fall of 2004 and became a full-time faculty member in 2008.
“John was highly respected by the faculty, staff, and students in the School of Business,” said Dr. Carol Fischer, dean of the School of Business. “His energy and enthusiasm were contagious, and his contributions to curriculum and programming are a lasting legacy.”
Watson also served as the primary color commentator for SBU-TV broadcasts of men's basketball games.
Watson is survived by his wife, Dr. Leslie Raymore Watson; four children, John, Noah, Stephen and Elizabeth; his mother, Dr. Suzanne Watson, a former lecturer in the Department of Computer Science at St. Bonaventure; a brother, Stephen, athletic director at St. Bonaventure; and a sister, Jane. His sister Christine passed away in 2006.
Donations can be made in honor of Watson to either Archbishop Walsh Academy, 208 North 24th Street, Olean, NY 14760; or to The Chris Dudley Foundation Diabetes Camp, 515 NW Saltzman Road #789, Portland, OR 97229.
View Dr. Watson's University profile page.
About the University: Inspired for more than 150 years by the Catholic Franciscan values of individual dignity, community inclusiveness, and service, St. Bonaventure University cultivates graduates who are confident and creative communicators, collaborative leaders and team members, and innovative problem solvers who are respectful of themselves, others, and the diverse world around them.