WOOSTER – Floyd E. WATTS, 79, of Wooster, died Monday, January 28, 2008 after a prolonged illness.
Born March 31, 1928 in Willard, Huron County, Ohio, he mainly grew up in nearby Norwalk. In his youth he was an active Methodist. He received his BA and MA degrees in history from Kent State University in 1950, 51. These were followed by two years in the U. S. Army, a further year at Kent to study languages, and four years at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, leading to a PhD in history. The day after labor day, 1958, he was hired to teach history at the College of Wooster. With the exception of one year, he remained at Wooster until he retired in 1993.
He began to teach Africian history in 1962 and first visited the continent-Ghana (7 weeks), Nigeria, Kenya, Ethiopia, Sudan for the first time in the summer of 1966 with the help of a joint grant from The Great Lakes Colleges Association and The College of Wooster. He returned nine times, often living in villages but also spending time in government offices observing the daily tasks of administering government. He thought this gave him a greater insight into life in Africa than he would have received if attached to various universities. He encouraged students to spend their junior year abroad in Africa or a summer there with the Operation Crossroads Africa Program. A surprising number did.
In the late Sixties he also began to teach the First World War and Europe of the Dictators, that is to say, Europe in the Twenties and Thirties. He was also a frequent contributor to the First Year Seminar, a course required of all First year students. This remained pretty much the pattern of his teaching life.
After retirement, he traveled a good deal, briefly to Paris and on segments of the QE2’s world cruise, as from Mombasa and Calcutta to Southampton via the Suez Canal and Singapore to Southampton via South Africia. In later years physicial informities kept him mainly in Wooster.
He was predeceased by Cecil and Opal, his parents. He leaves no Survivors.
There will be no services
No calling hours