Cover photo for COL (Ret.) Raymond W. Watters MD, MPH's Obituary
COL (Ret.) Raymond W. Watters MD, MPH Profile Photo
Raymond W. Watters

COL (Ret.) Raymond W. Watters MD, MPH

d. March 1, 2024

   Raymond Wendell Watters, MD, MPH, Colonel, US Army Medical Corps (Ret.), 75, of Richmond, passed away on Friday, March 1, 2024 to begin a new chapter of his life in Christ.  

   Born in Cincinnati, Ohio on April 14, 1948, Ray was the son of Lawrence W., Jr. & Leila W. O’Dell Watters. Ray attended Union College in Barbourville, KY before going on to earn his BS Degree from Purdue University, his MD from the University of La Laguna in Tenerife, Spain, and his Masters of Public Health from the Harvard University School of Public Health. Ray was a med student in Tenerife 1976 and was among those thrust into assisting during the deadliest disaster in aviation history, the collision of two 747 passenger jets.

   Ray initially practiced medicine as a civilian in Corbin, KY and later at University of Louisville-affiliated hospitals. In 1985, he was commissioned into the US Army Reserve. He served in the Reserves until 1991, when he entered active duty. In total, Ray served his country 29 years prior to his retirement in 2014, with 21 years assigned as a Flight Surgeon. He was a combat surgeon as well as a Medical Detachment Commander in Saudi Arabia during Operation Desert Storm; Group Surgeon with the 10th Special Forces Group in Fort Devins, MA; Aviation Medicine Consultant in South Korea; and Aviation Medicine Consultant to the British Army Air Corps. Other duty assignments included Fort Bragg, NC; Fort Wainwright, AK, Fort Knox, KY, Brooks AFB, TX, the Sinai region of Egypt, Kuwait, Albania and Liberia. Ray enjoyed running PT (Physical Training) with the troops at his duty stations and ran many 5K races during his time in the military.     

   Ray’s uniform decorations included the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal with 4 Oak Leaf Clusters, Army Commendation Medal with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters, Kuwait Liberation Medal, Southwest Asia Liberation Medal, Army Achievement Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, Navy Achievement Medal and National Defense Medal. He was also qualified to wear the Senior Flight Surgeon Badge and the Parachutist Badge (Airborne).

   Ray was a man of faith and most recently was attending the Trinity Anglican Church in Connersville. He was a member of Webb Lodge #24, F & AM, and the Miami Tribe of the Improved Order of Red Men.

   Ray is survived by his sister, Cathy Watters; nephews, Brian Alyea and Michael (Trina) Alyea; great-nephews, Kyler Alyea and Justin Alyea; great-nieces, Harley Alyea and Haley Alyea; great-great-nieces, Paisley and Bella; step-nephews, Alan Charles and Kyle Hopson.

   Ray was preceded by his parents and his 6-month-old daughter, Ashley Watters, in 1986.

   Visitation for Ray will be from 4-7 p.m. on Thursday, March 7, at the Smith-McQuiston & Webster Funeral Home, 321 US 27 South, Fountain City. A Masonic Service will be conducted at 7:00 p.m. to conclude visitation.

   Funeral services will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Friday, March 8, at the funeral home. Interment with military rites will follow in Willow Grove Cemetery.

   Memorial contributions are encouraged in Ray’s memory to the charitable organization of the donor’s choice.

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Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Thursday, March 7, 2024

4:00 - 7:00 pm (Eastern time)

Smith-McQuiston & Webster Funeral Home

321 US Hwy 27, PO Box 14, Fountain City, IN 47341

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Service

Friday, March 8, 2024

Starts at 1:00 pm (Eastern time)

Smith-McQuiston & Webster Funeral Home

321 US Hwy 27, PO Box 14, Fountain City, IN 47341

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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