Louis A. Watts
1933 - 2011, Monroe, WA; formerly of Santa Barbara
August 7, 1933 to August 2, 2011
Louis passed away after a brief illness in Monroe, Washington. He was born in Long Beach, California, where he attended elementary school and Long Beach Polytechnic High School. He attended Long Beach City College before entering the United States Air Force.
Lou served his country with honor, and pride in the California Air National Guard and the U.S. Air Force. As an Atomic Veteran Lou participated on many “interesting” projects including the “TeaPot“ series of Nuclear tests in Nevada. While stationed at McClellan Air Force Base in Sacramento California, Lou met and married Delores, his wife of fifty-six years.
Lou graduated from California Polytechnic College in San Luis Obispo, California where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Electronic Engineering, in 1961.
Lou moved his small family to the Santa Barbara area and lived there until his retirement. Lou enjoyed sailing, flying, restoring cars, photography, showing dogs and making things work just a little better. In keeping with his life long passion for science and aviation, he worked at Emerson Electric, Santa Barbara Research Center, SAIC and later SpecTIR, which he was a Founder and CEO. While at SBRC he was program manager for the IPP, an instrument that flew on Pioneer 10 and 11 space crafts, taking the first images of Jupiter and Saturn, before leaving the Solar System. The Pioneer 10/11 spacecraft is currently on display at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. Lou was a pioneer in the development of leading edge technologies for the Intelligence Community and Department of Defense. His early research and advanced development of hyperspectral and polarimetric systems and operational applications are now being used to fight the war on terrorism and in support of our military forces worldwide.
Lou, a member of Christ Lutheran Church was very active in the community. A Past Commodore of the Santa Barbara Sea Shell Association, a member of the Santa Barbara Sailing Club, Santa Barbara Flying Club, and President of the Channel City Kennel Club. He was also a counselor at Zona Seca.
Louis A. Watts is survived and very much missed by his wife: Delores Watts, their three children Michael Watts, of Bellevue, Washington, Denise Roteman, of Goleta, and Eric Watts of Santa Barbara, their spouses: Rhonda Watts, Andrew Roteman and Beth McDonald. Grand children: Steven Watts, Chelsea Johansen, and spouse Cody Johansen, Elizabeth Roteman, Thomas Roteman, Patrick Roteman, Christopher Roteman, and Abel Hamilton . Great grand children: Cheyenne Johansen and Dresden Johansen, and his brother Keith Watts, of Chatsworth, California.
A memorial gathering will be held September 22, 5:00 to 7:00 PM on board SeaLanding’s vessel, Condor Express, in the Santa Barbara Harbor.
Memorial donations may be made to: National Disaster Search Dog Foundation In Ojai, or Santa Barbara Sea Shell Association.