Terry Watts

Terry Watts

Terry was born in 1957 in the Wheeler Hospital and began a lifetime of crippling shyness. Terry’s dad was named Pete, and as a child Terry was known as Re-Pete. Terry and his siblings were the first generation off the reservation as his mother was a full member of the Colville tribe. He was very proud of his indigenous heritage. Terry was an excellent high school athlete in football and track and maintained high school friendships for a lifetime.

After graduating from Neahkahnie High School, Terry spent the 80’s as a hairdresser in Raleigh Hills after watching the movie “Shampoo”. Sadly, Terry found out that he was neither as handsome or charismatic as Warren Beatty, so he never achieved Beatty’s “success”.

Terry’s father passed away, and on his deathbed asked Terry to move back to the beach to take care of this mother, which he did. One evening while in the garage of his childhood friend Don, who was the fire chief of Nehalem, someone came in and stated “more EMT’s were needed up north”. Terry asked Don “what is an EMT?” Terry started EMT classes the next Fall. Terry went to work for a conservative medical facility in the area while being a liberal atheist and everything went as smoothly as you can imagine. It was a miracle he lasted 28 days, let alone 28 years! When Terry was born, unusually at the time, a female doctor delivered him. In later years in his job as a paramedic, he transported (attended/provided care to) this same doctor. He shared with her that this was one of those “circle of life” moments. They both shared tears. Terry experienced many of those types of moments over the course of his career as a paramedic.

Terry’s first political foray was as the student body president at Nehalem Grade School which led to a life changing teacher in 7th grade who’s daily assignment for his students was to have them watch the news every night. This is where his lifelong interest in politics emerged. Terry liked to say he was way to the left of Bernie Sanders. This liberal bent was expressed in many flaming Facebook comments to conservatives. Terry never backed down from one of these “disagreements” which frequently resulted in Terry spending time in Facebook jail. Terry also got into local politics and spent approximately 13 years as mayor of Rockaway Beach for 3 terms and then as city councilor. During this time, they completed sidewalks downtown and got financial backing for a new city hall. It was his great honor that as mayor of Rockaway Beach he could use his megaphone voice to persuade DOT to build the bridge at Friends Camp to provide safe passage to the beach for guests and campers.

Terry enjoyed many outdoor activities in water and snow, riding his jet ski especially through the opening in Twin Rocks. He loved playing golf and was a true football fan, in particular for the Oregon Ducks. He watched each bright sunset to see if he would catch a “green flash”. He celebrated the Rockaway Beach 4th of July festivities each year with family and friends.

The highlight of his life was meeting the love of his life, Robin, in 1993. They were married for 27 years, enjoying a fabulous life with many great adventures including time spent with Robin’s son Damon and two grandsons Maddox and Mason. Terry is survived by his wife Robin, their son Damon, grandsons Maddox and Mason, his dog Buddy, three siblings, Jacqueline Carlstrom, Dell Squire, and Sandra Hammond, Aunt Sharon Kisor, the Ivy family, Karen, Logan, Sheri, Andrew, and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, and dear lifelong friends.

There will be a celebration of life, which will be announced later.

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(1) comment


Huge honor to be the first to write a comment. Considered Terry a friend. He must have collected ten thousand of them during his life. I got to be one of them. A great medic, and a humanitarian. The coast will feel smaller without him.

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