Leighton Vivian St. Patrick Watson passed away on January 27th, 2020. He was born in Lucea, Jamaica on October 1, 1932, the middle son of Vivian Watson, a pharmacist, and Lilieth Cameron Watson, who gifted her five sons with poetic saints’ names.
Leighton was preceded in death by his parents and his brothers Donald Francis Colin and Basil Barrington St. George. He is survived by his dear friends and brothers, Melvin Montclair St. John and Edward Anthony St. Alban. Also by his beloved wife Barbara, his adored son Stephen Angelo and grandson Leighton Alexander as well as the many nieces and nephews of whom he was so proud.
Leighton attended Kingston College and apprenticed with his grandfather, Rainford Cameron, at his Kingston jewelry store. In 1952 he and his brother, Melvin toured Central America and Mexico on a Jamaican soccer team, where he was known for playing to impress the crowd. He went on to learn watchmaking in New York and Switzerland, then opened his own jewelry store in Kingston.
In 1967 Leighton moved to Los Angeles, CA, where he met Barbara Meyer in an elevator at Bullocks Department Store, where they both worked. They were married on September 1, 1974. After various positions as a jewelry buyer, he and Barbara moved to Santa Fe in 1993, where they renovated a historic building and opened La Tienda Inn, a bed and breakfast on San Francisco Street, with her brother James Meyer. Leighton retired in 2005.
Leighton loved life and bore his final illness with grace and calm assurance. His contagious laughter, highly-embroidered stories, and creative cooking will be missed. As the middle son who wore “hand-me-downs,” he enjoyed wearing Brooks Brothers clothes and spit-polished Bally shoes. He played tennis, called friends and family every weekend, detailed his car, gardened, listened to jazz, and watched sports with a cold Red Stripe in an icy mug.
The family would like to express their gratitude to Kelly Plymesser and the staff at Ambercare and to David Fresquez and his caregivers at Care Source for making his last weeks comfortable and peaceful. Also to the loving friends who provided him with the happy companionship he so enjoyed.
Leighton wanted one last big celebration. We will try to honor his wish on Saturday, February 15 at 1:30pm at the Lutheran Church of the Servant; 2481 Legacy Court, off Rodeo Road next to Sam’s Club.
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