Ronald Austin Watts

November 30, 1969March 13, 2023
Obituary of Ronald Austin Watts
Ronald Austin Watts Nov 30, 1969 - March 13, 2023 This is a story of an adventurous southern boy from rural Florence County, South Carolina who through a series of misadventures and good fortune grew into the man we all came to know, love, and respect. During his formative years Ronny worked in his father’s auto parts store and knew exactly what he wanted in life; have fun, avoid trouble and do the best job possible. From hunting and fishing to riding dirt bikes; from earning the rank of Eagle Scout, the highest achievement in Boy Scouts, to winning countless shooting competitions; Ronny accomplished these and many other goals. Ronny enjoyed time in his workshop crafting exotic woods into keepsake items. According to friends and family, he honed his woodworking skills using carefully selected sharp four-letter words! Ronny enlisted in the Army in 1989 and was subsequently assigned to the US Army Marksmanship Unit at Fort Benning, Georgia as an international Pistol Shooter for the Army Shooting Team. Ronny was then assigned as a programmer analyst during a tour in Korea. Following this assignment, he returned to the U.S Shooting Team and competed in World Cups in Munich, Milan and Atlanta. Ronny’s additional assignments included a tour as instructor at the U.S. Army Signal Center at Ft. Bordon, Georgia and JSOC where he would eventually serve as Operations Sergeant Major. During a brief assignment in 2003, Ronny met Sarah Watkins and the two married a year later. Following his retirement in 2010, Ronny, Sarah and their three children settled in Apex, NC His military decorations include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Joint Service Achievement Medal, the Army Commendation Medal and the Army Achievement Medal. He was awarded the Ranger Tab, the Senior Parachutist Badge, the German Parachutist Badge, and was a member of the prestigious Sgt Audie Murphy Club. In addition to successfully completing various complex training courses, Ronny also earned his master’s degree. In addition to his long list of military accomplishments, Ronny also took great pride in instilling fear in his superiors and subordinates. Countless stories have been told of how Ronny used his debating skills to sway opinion. One friend said Ronny could argue that a chair should be positioned upside down on the floor and, eventually, all would agree. After retiring from the Army in 2010, Ronny joined Dell Technologies as a Deputy Program Manager. He played a key role in everything from contract change negotiations with government leaders, to solution development with Dell and various external partners, to talent identification and leadership development activities for prospective and existing employees. Ronny continually worked to support veterans in their efforts to transition from the military to civilian life. Ronny enjoyed the simple things in life – woodworking in his shop, teaching his sons how to hunt and fish, basking in the joy of sharing his love of guitar with his daughter and snuggling up to his wife while watching a movie. A person’s success when facing the end of life isn’t measured by what you have, it’s measured by the strength of love surrounding you when that time arrives. By all measures Ronny led a very successful life. Ronny is survived by Sarah, his loving wife of 20 years; and their three children, Chandler, Oliver and Abigail; and, of course, the family pets: Tony the cat and Rigby the dog. We will forever miss his quick-witted humor, sly smile, feisty attitude and outspoken opinion about everything. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Special Operations Communicators Association. Mail checks to: Special Operations Communicators Association (SOCA) PO Box 73409 Fort Bragg, NC 28307 Or via the website at Navigate to Memorial, scroll down to “Make a Donation to the Memorial and Emergency Fund.”

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