Dick and Pat Watson have been in the Rim Country about 35 years. Men and women who attended Julia Randall Elementary School in the 1970s, when it was Payson's only elementary school, will remember Dick Watson as one of their teachers. Pat Watson worked as a secretary for the schools and was also a frequent substitute teacher. And if you didn't have a Watson for a teacher, you most likely had a Watson in your class.
The couple's children are hosting an ice cream social, with live music by Ron Gibson and his band, from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 10 in Star Valley.
The Watson offspring and their spouses include daughter Cherri, her husband, Dean Stottlemyre and their four children, of Flagstaff; son Dick Jr. and his wife, Teresa, and their three children, of Mesa; John Watson, and his wife, Cathy, of Payson; and deceased son, Tim.
"They came to the Rim Country in the early 1970s," said daughter-in-law Teresa Watson. "They bought the Tonto Village store."
They are back in the store business now -- both Dick and Pat work at Wal-Mart.
The Watsons were very involved in community activities while their children were growing up. They chaired the Payson Gospel Music Festival and helped Walt and Elaine Drorbaugh run the Sawdust Festival.
"We got acquainted with them when they chaired the gospel festival," said Drorbaugh, "And then they helped us with the Sawdust Festival for eight or nine years. All their kids were always involved too, either competing or judging. They are good, outgoing people, willing to help anyway they possibly can," Drorbaugh said.
She said they were especially good to her and her late husband, Walt, during the five years he was sick with cancer.
"They were there for us the whole time and sang at Walt's funeral, which was real hard on them," Drorbaugh said.
The anniversary celebration is going to be at Danny and Debbie Haught's arena on Highway 260 in Star Valley. Dress is casual and walking shoes are recommended.