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George M. Watts

We report with great sadness the death of George M. Watts on Sunday, March 12. Cause of death was listed as lung cancer, which had contributed to a general failure in his health in past months, according to his wife Suzanne.

Mr. Watts headed the Western Dredging Association when it was formed in 1978, and led the organization until 1993. Friends and colleagues attribute the later success of the organization to his dedication and skill in the early years, when Mr. Watts handled the business of the nascent organization in addition to his second career as a senior engineer with Tetra Tech.

He had a long career with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, beginning in 1947, and was Chief of the Engineering Research Center’s Engineering Division, where he advised and directed many projects vital to the nation’s coastal and harbor infrastructure, including in Vietnam during the conflict there.

After retiring from the Corps in 1978, he joined Tetra Tech in Arlington, Virginia, where he worked on major projects, including the engineering, planning, construction and completion of the St. Paul Island fishing harbor development in the Bering Sea – a project that had been built by other firms, but had never survived the winter storms. The St. Paul residents were delighted when the new breakwater designed by Mr. Watts survived the elements, allowing them to establish a fishing industry in the area.

Upon his retirement from Tetra Tech and from WEDA in 1993, Mr. Watts and his wife Suzanne spent time traveling and enjoying their grandchildren.

The family will conduct a private funeral and burial in Arlington National Cemetery on Thursday, March 16. A memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. on Friday, March 17 at Trinity United Methodist Church, 1205 Dolly Madison Blvd., McLean Virginia.

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