Mr. Frederick D. Watts (1927-2020)

A True Legend

Wilbraham & Monson Academy is deeply saddened to announce the passing of Mr. Frederick D. Watts. Mr. Watts died peacefully at his care center in Salem, New Hampshire. He was 93.  

Mr. Watts served the Academy for 40 years, from 1952 until his retirement in 1992. He was Master of English, Geography and Mathematics, Master of History and History Department Chair. He served as Citizenship Advisor, Director of Residence, Senior Master of Rich Hall, Dean of Students, Director of Alumni Relations and Head of School. Mr. Watts took all of his roles seriously, but none more so than teacher, mentor and friend. His influence on the lives of countless students and fellow faculty members over the years cannot be overstated. He became a legend in his own time, and will be deeply missed by everyone who had the good fortune to know him.  

Visiting hours for Mr. Watts will be held on Saturday, Nov. 14, from 1 - 5 p.m. at Douglas and Johnson Funeral Home at 214 Main Street in Salem. N.H.

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Over the years

A trip down Memory Lane ...


About his life ...


In memory of Mr. Watts

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please click here.

A sampling of memories

"Such sad news. Mr (Fred) Watts was a close friend of my parents (Peter and Lotte) while we were at WMA. He is a kind, sincere gentleman and an accomplished educator. Mr Watts epitomized everything that is great about WMA. He will be missed."

- Barbara (Tuozzolo) August '77

"I never fully appreciated Fred and his impact on me until after I graduated. It was only until I entered the 'real world' that I realized what an inspiration he was and how much I learned from him. I feel blessed and privileged to have had him as a mentor. Clearly, Wilbraham was the school it was in large part to Fred Watts. He was a class act."

- Tom Jurkowsky '65W

"Taught me english grammar. He was tough but fair. Whenever you were doing something naughty he miraculously appeared to set you right."

- David Cooper '65W

"Mr. Watts was a kind man. I volunteered to be a waitress at one of his meetings to get out of study hall. Proceeded to lose one of his silver spoons and he always laughed about it. One of our private jokes. Always made me feel at home at Wilbraham."

- Virginia Salem '82

"He was a kind, generous and incredibly patient man and someone I think of often. He will be missed but the number of people he mentored will keep his legacy alive for decades to come!"

- Tim Langer '73

"I fondly remember his humor, and the look he would give when he knew you were up to "no good". He was a big part of the community during my time at WMA."

- Tim Scherer '85

"Both Fred and Gray Mattern personified the mantle which our Student Handbook encouraged us to don, that of the Gentleman of Wilbraham ... I found in these two men the epitome of this important aspect of my development, throughout the finest five years of my educational experience. In manners, dress and character, Fred and Gray were without peer. We were very fortunate to have had them in our lives.!"

- Robert Humberston '68W

"I was terrified because I was unprepared for Mr. Watts' history class one day, so each time he paused to ask questions of the class, I either coughed or dropped my pen on the floor. Of course he got wise to that strategy, and eventually made me show just how unprepared I was! Mr. Watts embodied everything about Wilbraham to me. He always demonstrated class, dignity and devotion to the campus way of life."

- Richard Bunce '68W

"One of my most revered people from WMA. My conversations with him over the years have always been treasured when I look back at my high school memories."

- Joel Ackerman '89

"He always shared a bit of history and a kind word!"

- Ann-Marie Lawlor '84