John J. Watson, professor of marketing in the School of Business at St. Bonaventure University, died unexpectedly on Friday. He was 45.
Dr. Watson's death comes just 13 months after the death of his father, John G. Watson, dean of the School of Business and a member of the St. Bonaventure faculty for 35 years.
"Our community is just heartbroken by this news," said Sister Margaret Carney, university president. "After the loss of his father last year, this is almost impossible to comprehend. John was such a rising star in our School of Business, much like his dad was 30 years ago. We will do everything we can to support his family during this tragic time."
A native of Franklinville, Dr. Watson graduated from Archbishop Walsh High School in Olean.
He earned his bachelor's degree in business administration from Bucknell University in 1988 and his master's in business administration from Bucknell in 1989. He earned his doctorate in marketing in 1996 from Pennsylvania State University, where he was a graduate assistant in the Department of Marketing.
Dr. Watson played basketball at Bucknell and spent two years after college playing professionally in Ireland and England. He was also a coach, owner and president of the Canterbury Rams in the New Zealand National Basketball League and was named Coach of the Year in 2002.
Dr. Watson was an assistant and associate professor in the Department of Management at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand, from 1996 to 2008. There, he founded the Business and Sport Management Society, was chairman of the International Student Exchange Committee and served on the university's MBA Board of Directors. He received the Best Teacher Award in 1997 and 2006 as a faculty member in Canterbury's College of Business and Economics.
Dr. Watson first joined the faculty of St. Bonaventure as a visiting professor in the fall of 2004 and became a full-time faculty member in 2008.
He also served as the primary color commentator for SBU-TV broadcasts of men's basketball games.
Dr. Watson is survived by his wife, Leslie Raymore Watson; four children, John, Noah, Stephen and Elizabeth; his mother, Suzanne Watson; a brother, Stephen, athletic director at St. Bonaventure; and a sister, Jane.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at at 4 p.m. Monday in St. Bonaventure Parish, Allegany. Parking around the parish is limited and those attending services are urged to park on the campus and pick up a shuttle by the statue of Mary next to Hickey Dining Hall, beginning at 2:45 p.m.