James Harry Watson, 84, of Hannibal, transitioned to eternal reward at 3:35 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018, at Hannibal Regional Hospital.

James Harry Watson, 84, of Hannibal, transitioned to eternal reward at 3:35 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018, at Hannibal Regional Hospital.

Funeral services will be at noon Saturday, Feb. 3, at the Collier Funeral Homes, 117 Barnard Drive, Louisiana. The Rev. Minnie L. Smith will officiate. Burial will be at Eolia Community Cemetery.

Visitation will be from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, Feb. 3, at Collier Funeral Homes.

James was a veteran of the United States Army, serving his country with the greatest of honor and distinction. He served both in the Korean and Vietnam Wars. After 30 years of honorable service he retired on March 1, 1982. He received numerous performance awards, Army Commendations and Service Medals during his active and overseas assignments.

After his retirement, he did not stop working. He enlisted with the Department of Defense (DOD) as a civilian licensed Fire Protection Systems Mechanic. He retired from DOD on July 31, 1996.

James and Alice moved from Fayetteville, N.C., to Hannibal in September 1996 to enjoy retirement with family and friends.

James enjoyed and loved ham/radio communications. His call sign was "AB0Y." He was a life-time licensed member with the Federal Communications Amateur Radio for over 50 years.

He always read books to educate himself. He taught himself to write and read music notes, repair TVs and radios. He loved tinkering with electronic gadgets. He built a computer from scratch before computers were popular. He served 30 years of

service in support of the United States Army Military Affiliate Radio System (MARS). He had a passion for communicating MARS codes with other people around the world on a daily basis.

James also loved church, fishing, playing his harmonicas, guitars, banjos and piano and singing gospel songs. He self-taught himself to play all of those musical instruments.

James was a very dedicated and faithful member at Willow Street Christian Church until he was not able to attend services.

He was preceded in death by his parents, John Adam Watson Sr. and Pauline Ella Watson; and two sisters, Daisy Jane and Marguerite Watson.

He was married to Alice L. Dixon-Watson on Sept. 14, 1966. She preceded him in death.

He leaves to cherish his memory two daughters, Paula Abbey (Martie), Bolingbrook, Ill., and Martha Taylor, Zion, Ill.; one son, Floyd Jackson (Jo Ann), Park City, Ill.; two brothers, John Adam Jr., Donald (Kathleen) all of Eolia; four sisters, Frances Estella Hawthorne (Peter), Des Moines, Iowa, Ora Bell Conway, Clarksville, Mary Lucille Warren of Eolia and Donna Thorpe of Minneapolis, Minn.; nine grandchildren; 23 great-grandchildren; seven great-great-grandchildren; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

He was preceded in death by one daughter, Margaret Ann Ayers; and two grandchildren, Alice Marie and Anjenette Ayers.