Luther Neal Watts was born Aug. 15, 1920, in Hobart, Oklahoma, to the late Luther and Nellie Watts. Neal was raised and received his education in the Stratford community, having graduated from Stratford High School with the Class of 1938. He also worked at the family gristmill while attending school.
Neal was united in marriage to Genoma Johns on Oct. 3, 1942, in Stratford, Oklahoma. Neal and Genoma resided in the communities of Stratford, San Diego, Bakersfield and New Cuyama prior to moving to Sonora, where they have resided since 1979.
Neal served in the U.S. Navy Submarine Service during World War II and was stationed at Midway Island. Neal worked as an industrial engine mechanic with Atlantic Richfield (Arco) until his retirement in 1979.
Among his special interests, Neal enjoyed machinery and car repair, drawing, painting, recycling, wood splitting, yard work and home repair.
Neal was a member of Christian Heights Church, Christian Motorcycle Association and the American Legion.
He is preceded in passing by his brothers, Galen Watts and Bobby Watts; his sisters, Eileen Ward, Patricia Holland and Catherine Bramsted; and his grandson, Eric Watts.
Neal is survived by his wife, Genoma Watts; his sons, Jerry Watts, of Chatsworth, Ken Watts, of Sonora, Curtis Watts, of Sonora; and his daughter, Gwen Watts Robinson, of Lodi.
Also surviving are five grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.