Edward Sweeney Watson

May 27, 1943 ~ September 21, 2016

Edward Sweeney (Ed) Watson, 73 years, passed away Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2016, in his home, surrounded by his family.  


Mr. Watson was born May 27, 1943. He was a resident of Lake Charles most of his life. Ed graduated from Lake Charles High School in 1961. He attended McNeese State University, majoring in animal husbandry. He was a Cowboy at heart, and he rode the rodeo circuit while attending McNeese. Following graduation, he began his career as owner of Len-Air, Inc. Air Condition and Heating.


Ed became the Mayor of Lake Charles on July 1, 1985, after serving two years on the Calcasieu Parish Police Jury, representing District 5. During his first year in office, he persuaded the U.S. Congress to pass a bill lifting the “deed restrictions” at the abandoned Chennault Air Force Base facility, which had prevented its economic development for over 20 years. Later, his efforts in Louisiana Legislature resulted in the formal creation of the Chennault Airpark Board. He then led the team that was successful in landing Boeing, Inc. as Chennault’s first tenant. Early in his tenure, he became an active leader in the effort to 4-lane Highway 171 from I-10 in Lake Charles, to I-20 in Shreveport. His support resulted in the formation of the LA Highway Trust Fund, which reserved all Louisiana “fuel taxes” for transportation purposes only. While Mayor, Ed also created the first Employee Assistance Program (EAP), in America, for municipal employees. His early efforts in support of city employees with chemical dependency issues saved many jobs and lives. While Mayor, he entertained the citizens of Southwest Louisiana on Mother’s Day, May 1987, by hosting a Bob Hope Show at the Civic Center. He also accepted the first Louisiana Governor’s Arts Award for the City of Lake Charles.


In 1998 Ed and Becky moved to Houma, La., for business. There he was hired as Terrebonne Port Director. Ed’s experience in government allowed him to take a port that had only existed on paper for 40 years and laid a foundation that is responsible for its success today. Ed accomplished many things, but most notably the dredging of the ports first slip and the signing of the ports first tenant. He was also instrumental in establishing the Houma Downtown Marina that still thrives today as a major tourist attraction to Houma.  


Ed was a member of the Association of General Contractors and the SWLA Homebuilders Association. He also was a member of the Louisiana Police Jury Association and the Louisiana Municipal Association, having served on various state committees. He was a past School Board Member for Episcopal Day School. He also served on the Vestry at Good Shepherd Episcopal Church, serving as senior warden for a year.


Ed loved the outdoors and was an avid hunter and fisherman. He shared this love with his wife, children and grandchildren. Ed loved people and never met a stranger.  


He is survived by his wife of 38 years, Rebecca (Becky) Robinson Watson; three children, Edward (Mac) S. Watson Jr. and wife Dena of Sulphur, La., Kadi Strong and husband Brad of Gilbert, Ariz., and Todd Jackson and wife Jenny of Baton Rouge, La.; seven grandchildren, Eric Watson and wife Gabby, Joshua Watson, Mitchell, Jack and Andrew Strong and Liza and Charlie Jackson; and one great-granddaughter, Mackenzie Watson. He is also survived by a brother, Frank Watson and wife Lynn of Liberty Hill, Texas; and numerous nieces and nephews.


Ed was proceded in death by his parents, Frank and Catherine Watson; and sister, Kathy Natalia.  


Memorial service will be at 4 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 25, 2016, at the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd under the direction of Johnson Funeral Home. The Rev. Jack Myers, The Rev. Jim Lueckenhoff and The Rev. Boo Kay will officiate. Interment for immediate family will follow in the Chapel of Hardtner Hall. Visitation Saturday, Sept. 24, 2016, will be from 4 p.m.-6: p.m. and Sunday from 3 p.m. until 4 p.m. in Hardtner Hall of the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd in Lake Charles. 


The family request that memorials be made, in lieu of flowers, to the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd, 715 Kirkman St., Lake Charles, LA 70601, and Episcopal Day School, 803 N. Division St., Lake Charles, LA 70601.


The family would like to thank their church family at Good Shepherd for all of the prayers and cards. Also Heart of Hospice, doctors and nurses for their loving care. 

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Memories Timeline


  1. I had the privilege of working with Ed when I was manager of Calcasieu Cable in the mid-late 80's. A very pleasant and professional man. I have much respect for him. May he rest in peace.

  2. Becky and Family, Praying for family and friends to comfort you, Faith to uphold you and loving memories to help us all smile again. Heaven's stars are our lost loved ones watching over us. Sadly, now we have another star to gaze upon.

  3. Dear Becky & Todd, I was so sorry to hear of your loss. He was such a sweetie! God Bless ya'll in this difficult time. I'm sure my Dad & Ed are living it up right now! take care! Kimberley Olney Trunick

  4. So sad to hear of Ed's passing. Went to school with Ed and was so proud of his success. Was at that Mother's Day Bob Hope Show at the LC Civic with my mother and mother in law! Thanks, Ed! RIP!

  5. We are very sorry for your loss. Ed was an amazing man and we have such fond memories of him and your family. We were blessed to know him and call him a friend. You are in our hearts and prayers . Linda, Mary Kay, Meredith, Alyce & Molly

  6. We shall miss having you in our world, Ed. I cannot remember a time when you were not a friend, albeit long distance. But, we will meet again in a new world our Father in Heaven has prepared for us. I look forward to seeing you again there. God bless you, Rest in Peace.

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