SABINE COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - Visitation was held this evening for Sabine County Judge Charles Edward Watson.
Watson passed away on Tuesday from complications following numerous back surgeries. East Texas News found out the two-term judge was a man who loved to serve his community.
Watson began public service late in life. The 78-year old-was in the fourth year of his second term as Sabine County Judge. He loved to serve, said his eldest son, Wyatt.
"He loved it. I mean this county was very important to him," Wyatt Watson said. "And it wasn't something that got less important. It was always getting more important.
Each morning, Watson would go to the Sabine County Courthouse. He was sent there by the people he served, including his good friend, Maurice Patterson.
"He ran for public office eight years ago in a very crowded situation," Patterson said. "There were a lot of people on the ballot, both Republican and Democrat. And he won handedly. And I was very impressed with the way he ran his campaign. When he ran the second time, he was even more impressive because there was no mudslinging. There was none of that."
Another friend called Watson a "country gentleman." Last year at a ceremony commemorating the tenth anniversary of the fall of Shuttle Columbia, the judge recalled why he was so proud of Sabine County.
"Immediately, people started to react, and I thought it was just a wonderful testimony," Watson said. Made me proud to be a part of this county."
There are many in Sabine County who will miss Watson.
"He'll be missed in this county because of his uplifting attitude," Wyatt Watson said. "He just loved people. He was just always concerned about other people."
Watson's funeral is tomorrow at 2 p.m. in the First Baptist Church in Hemphill. Burial will follow in the Gravelhill Cemetery.