Francis J. Wattenbarger, 90, a caring father, father-in-law, grandfather, great-grandfather and friend passed away peacefully on Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2011, after a brief illness.

Francis was a longtime resident and farmer in the Glade community in the Horse Heaven Hills of Southern Washington.

Francis was born Oct. 21, 1921 in Half Moon Bay, Calif. His parents were Grover and Daisey Wattenbarger of Mabton.

He graduated from Mabton High School and shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy, proudly serving his country in the Pacific Theater.

On Jan. 26, 1946 he married Katie Kinkade in Sunnyside. This marriage lasted more than 64 years. To this union were born two sons, Larry and Kirk. He tragically lost his son Kirk to ALS in 2004.

He was a faithful member of the Sunnyside Grace Brethren Church.

He enjoyed making things such as bluebird houses and can crushers, and every fall would gather and shell walnuts for family and friends.

He and his late wife Katie were Seattle Mariner fans, watching their games as much as possible on TV.

He was a very quiet man who was a good sounding board for others who had stories to tell and loved reading western novels (especially Zane Grey).

He is survived by one son, Larry (Dena) Wattenbarger of Bourbon, Ind.; a daughter-in-law, Kay Wattenbarger of Sunnyside; grandchildren, Alissa (Wes Pugh) of Bourbon, Ryan Wattenbarger of Kennewick, Emily Wattenbarger of Rochester, Ind. and Chad Wattenbarger of Sunnyside; and one great-granddaughter, Kacie Pugh of Bourbon.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Katie; a son, Kirk; and one great-grandson, Kyle Pugh.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials in Francis' name be made to Lower Valley Hospice, ALS Association and Kyle's Klass.

Viewing and visitation for Francis will be held Monday, Nov. 28, 2011, from 10 a.m. to noon at Sunnyside Grace Brethren Church, with funeral services to follow at 1 p.m. A military burial will follow at Lower Valley Memorial Gardens in Sunnyside.

Those wishing to send condolences may do so to

Valley Hills Funeral Home in Sunnyside is in charge of arrangements.



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