Remembering Dr. Allen Watts, 1923-2022

Family and friends are remembering Dr. Allen Watts, and sharing this remembrance with his community:

Dr. Allen Watts
November 17, 1923 – March 4, 2022

Few people have touched as many lives in West Seattle as Allen J. Watts. “Al” to his friends. “Doc Watts” to his generations of dental patients. Born in 1923 in rural Minnesota, he grew up without electricity or running water, and was instilled with a work ethic that he carried throughout his 98 years.

When he was 5 years old, Al started helping his father milk their 14 cows twice a day. They relied on their horses for plowing their field because they couldn’t afford a tractor, and they fed their family all year long with what they raised on their land.
He recalled one time when they couldn’t afford to pay their full property tax bill and his father borrowed $8 from the bank to make up the difference.

After serving in the Navy during World War Two, he graduated from dental school and decided to settle in Seattle. He began his practice in White Center and then opened his own dental office in West Seattle where he served the community for 39 years. The brick office he built near the VFW Hall on Alaska Street is still in use today.

Al Watts also left his mark with considerable community service, starting as a volunteer at the nearby YMCA and later as a board member and chairman of the building committee for 18 years. He led the $5 million effort to build the structure that currently houses the West Seattle Y. And Dr. Watts was often the one who quietly did the repairs on the building.

He was one of the founders of the West Seattle Helpline, which continues to offer emergency aid to the needy. Al was also a Boy Scout leader in West Seattle for many years, acting as Scoutmaster to as many as 74 boys at a time. Another one of his passions was the West Seattle Lions Club, where he served in every leadership role for many decades. In every one of these selfless roles, he was the driving force to get things done and make a difference in other people’s lives.

In 1963 Al and his wife bought property on Maury Island and called it Appleyard Farm. He raised chickens and exotic birds that won prizes at shows all over the country. Some of the species were nearly extinct when he started breeding them and he took great joy in seeing their offspring at shows in the subsequent years. He also had a donkey named Rosie and a pet llama, which were big hits with the neighborhood kids.

Over the years Al raised many varieties of apples, pears, berries, rhododendrons, Japanese maples, sunflowers, prize-wining pumpkins, and corn. One of his other great joys was sharing that bounty with others.

He is survived by his wife of more than 65 years, Muriel, their children Brad, Tim, and Leanne, 7 grandchildren, and 4 great-grandchildren who will never forget him.

(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries and memorial announcements by request, free of charge. Please email the text, and a photo if available, to

12 Replies to "Remembering Dr. Allen Watts, 1923-2022"

  • Karen March 7, 2022 (9:31 am)

    What a remarkable, well loved man.   His extraordinary life touched so many.  I loved his grin and sense of humor.   

  • Josh Sutton March 7, 2022 (10:48 am)

    Dr. Watts brought passion, leadership and a can do attitude to our local YMCA for decades!  His commitment to helping others and capacity to rally community was legendary – hard to say no to Al when he nicely asked for your help.  He brought people together to do bigger and better – the Y, Lions, Help Line, Scouts and more.Blessings to the Watts family as we celebrate Al’s life and lifetime of contributions.

  • ACG March 7, 2022 (11:42 am)

    What a lovely tribute to an amazing man.  My condolences to Dr. Watts’ family and friends. 

  • Sue Qualls March 7, 2022 (12:16 pm)

    Lovely man and my long time dentist. Broke a back molar when I was 20. My boyfriend took me to see his dentist. He fit me in and gave me a gold crown, still going strong 50 years later. An amazing life well lived!

  • Lola March 7, 2022 (1:20 pm)

    What a wonderful tribute to a wonderful man.  I worked for another dentist in the same practice along side of Dr. Watts.  He and his wife were so kind and nice if I ever needed help with anything.  Condolences to the family as I know this is not easy for them.Sheri & Charlie

  • Marcee March 7, 2022 (1:23 pm)

    I never knew the man but I and my family enjoyed the benefits of his efforts. Wish I’d had a chance to thank him. A great man who should be memorialized in our community.

  • Wendy Hobson March 7, 2022 (2:26 pm)

    Al Watts was such a kind and friendly man whenever I saw him at the YMCA and Y Board Meetings.  He’ll be missed in the community.

  • KC March 7, 2022 (9:56 pm)

    Condolences to the entire family! Many memories of Dr Watts in Boy Scouts and West Seattle soccer club with son Tim. The community lost a good one.Take Care

  • RoseEllen Albers March 8, 2022 (5:03 pm)

    I met Dr. Watts and his lovely wife Muriel at the Episcopal Church of The Holy Spirit on Vashon Island.   They were  generous humble people whose presence was always felt and terribly missed when they moved on.   Reading about all Al did in West Seattle I would have to duplicate that about their life on Vashon.   Yes, his beautiful smile will always be how he’s remembered by most of us.    Sending loving wishes to all his family.

  • Nancy Sorensen March 20, 2022 (3:48 pm)

    The West Seattle Lions are mourning the passing of Al Watts.  He was a 50+ year member of the Lions, and he was always an enthusiastic and generous supporter of the Lions and their charitable activities.  Al was always willing to do whatever needed to be done, and he did everything with a wonderful enthusiasm and a terrific smile.Al was a great member of our community and he is missed.

  • Charley Bell March 21, 2022 (9:56 am)

    He was my dentist from the mid 50’s to I can’t remember when. I had pretty bad teeth and he did wonders. It’s a miracle that I actually liked going to see him. I, along with my whole family of originally 6, have missed him all these years of his retirement. I hope his passing was as comfortable as he used to make me.

  • Gordon Umino March 23, 2022 (11:24 am)

    Dr.  Al Watts  was a modest individual of many significant accomplishments.  One highlight for me was the tour of his award-winning chickens at his place on Vashon Island.

Sorry, comment time is over.