William J. Watson, M.D. - Sioux Falls, S.D.

William James Watson, M.D., of Sioux Falls, S.D., died at home Saturday, May 12, 2012, surrounded by family after fighting a courageous battle against pancreatic cancer.

William was born July 10, 1954, in Eugene, Ore., to Robert and Mary Watson. He graduated from Bishop Blanchet High School in Seattle, Wash. He graduated from the University of Washington, obtaining his Bachelor of Science in Chemistry in 1976. He received his Medical Degree from the University of Washington in 1980, receiving honors from Alpha Omega Alpha.

Bill completed his residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Madigan Army Medical Center in Tacoma, Wash., where he met his wife Debbie. After serving in the Army from 1980 to 1987, Bill was honorably discharged and began his fellowship training in Maternal Fetal Medicine at the University of North Carolina, where he stayed on staff until 1991.

Bill and his family then moved to Sioux Falls, S.D., where he worked as a Maternal Fetal Medicine physician with Sioux Valley Clinic OB-GYN-Ltd, and joined the University of South Dakota Medical School where he was Professor and Chair of OBGYN. After delivering many babies and serving hundreds of families in Sioux Falls, Bill’s growing desire to do further teaching lead him and his wife, Debbie, to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester.

In 2003 Bill served as the Chair of Maternal Fetal Medicine Division, Medical Director for the Mayo Clinic Family Birth Center, and Chair of the Perinatal Leadership Committee. He also served as Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Maternal Fetal Medicine for the Mayo College of Medicine, where he trained many residents and fellows. Bill and Debbie moved back home to Sioux Falls this year to be with their family while battling pancreatic cancer.

Grateful for having shared his life are his wife, Debbie; his four daughters, Kendra Watson, (Dale Weiler), Rachel Watson, (Travis Barck), Janette Kucera, (Dave) and Stacy Kitterman (Kris); his brothers, Ken and Dan Watson; and his sister, Deborah Watson; his grandchildren, Shayla, Gavin and Jack Kucera and Khloe Kitterman; and his nieces and nephews.

We are deeply saddened by the loss of a great husband, father, grandfather and brother. He will continue to be an inspiration to many, and will be greatly missed.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Lectureship established in honor of Dr. Watson to the Mayo Clinic Department of Development, 200 First Street SW, Rochester, MN. 55905, Attention of Robert Giere.

Liturgical Funeral Service will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, May 18, at St. Mary Catholic Church in Sioux Falls.

Visitation will begin at 2 p.m. Thursday, May 17, with family present from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Heritage Funeral Home in Sioux Falls, with a Liturgical Wake Service at 7 p.m.