Cover photo for Thomas Robb Watt's Obituary
Thomas Robb Watt Profile Photo
1950 Thomas 2015

Thomas Robb Watt

February 18, 1950 — October 21, 2015

Commander Thomas Robb Watt, crossed the bar on Wednesday, October 21, 2015 in Syracuse, NY, at 65 years young.

Tom was born February 18, 1950 in Brooklyn, NY to Joseph and Mary Watt. He moved to Syracuse as a young boy, growing up on Euclid Avenue, meeting the love of life, Mary Lou Van Der Bogart, at the age of 12. He graduated from Nottingham High School, and later Syracuse University in 1973. Tom enlisted in the United States NAVY in 1974 receiving his first Officer's Commission in Pensacola later that year.

Tom and Mary Lou, with young daughters Heather and Melissa, began their NAVY adventures in Concord, California where Tom embarked on his first sea deployment onboard the U.S.S. Pyro. Over the course of his decorated, twenty-one year career, the Navy traversed the Watt family across the United States: from California, to Rhode Island, Virginia, California, Virginia, Maryland where Tom taught at the U.S. Naval Academy, and finally back to Virginia, where he retired from the military in 1994, having been one of few enlisted seamen to rise to the rank of Commander. During his Naval career, Tom was involved in a true fight for our freedom as the Chief Engineer aboard the U.S.S. Wisconsin, getting the ship and her crew over to the Persian Gulf in record time.
Even after retiring, Tom wasn't done with his sea adventures. In 2005, he joined American Systems, with his last location in beautiful Rota, Spain. Though moving to Spain allowed Tom and Mary Lou to travel across Europe to Holland, France, Portugal, and Italy, they made plans to retire back home to Syracuse, where Mary Lou had made their home.
Tom was married to his dearest Mary Lou Van Der Bogart for 46 years. They had two beautiful daughters, and five exceptional grandchildren, all of whom he loved so deeply. Tom was a devoted, loving husband, father, grandfather, brother, and friend. The Watt family made many friends across this country, and their homes have always been loving and lively, hosting many get-togethers through the years. Tom was the life of the party with his great smile and love of family and friends.
Tom is survived by his loving wife Mary Lou Watt; his two dear children, Heather Shook, and her husband James , Melissa Watt-Stiles, and her husband Raymond ; his devoted grandchildren, Alexandra Watt, William Shook, Grace Shook, Julia and Nick Stiles; his brother- and sister-by marriage, Lawrence (Wendy) Van Der Bogart III, and Pamela (Stewart ) Cummings, and their families; his mother Mary Watt; his brothers Joseph (Nancy) and William (Sharon) Watt; his sister Elizabeth (Charles) Kaiser; and his overflowing cadre of loving friends. The family also wishes to thank the numerous skilled physicians, nurses, and caregivers of Crouse Hospital.

Calling hours will be held 3 to 6 PM., Sunday, October 25, 2015, at Burns-Garfield Funeral Home, 3175 East Genesee St., Syracuse. Funeral services will be 11 AM, October 26, at Burns- Garfield Funeral Home, Military honors will follow in Oakwood Cemetery.
"Sunset and evening star,
And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar,
When I put out to sea…"
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Thomas Robb Watt, please visit our flower store.


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