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George B. Watson photo
George B. Watson photo
George B. Watson
Hometown: Lauderdale, MS
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George Barrett Watson was  a Tupelo businessman and icon in sporting goods. George was born in Lauderdale, MS. He was raised in the Lauderdale area and had graduated valedictorian of his lass from Lauderdale High School. In 1952, he moved to Tupelo to open Judge  Little's Sporting Goods that he purchased a couple of years later, changing the name to George Watson Sporting Goods. He built his store around service and eventually expanded the business throughout North Mississippi to include: University Sporting Goods in Oxford, Bulldog Sporting Goods in Starkville, Super Sports in Tupelo, Corinth Sporting Goods in Corinth, and Columbus Sporting Goods in Columbus.  From little league park and recreation, church leagues, and all the junior high and high school teams George supplied their sporting equipment and uniform needs.  To fully comprehend his commitment to service through his stores, he was noted in a North Mississippi Daily Journal article in 1985 for providing Jerseys for the entire Tupelo Golden Wave Football team just moments prior to kickoff when an opposing coach objected to the Jerseys the team was dressed out in because they failed to meet specific guidelines regarding contrasting jersey colors. The Tupelo coach called George 15 minutes prior to kickoff and he was able to have the Golden Wave in uniform with the game delayed only 15 minutes.  George enjoyed meeting and spending time with his customers and was most fond of the fellowship which took place for years every Saturday morning during the football season when many area high school football coaches would meet at George Watson Sporting Goods to discuss the previous night’s action.  Due to his 30 plus years commitment to his business and the sports teams of the area, George is one of only a few to be inducted to the MAC Hall of Fame that were not coaches. After he sold his sporting goods stores, he developed a love for antiques which inspired him to open George Watson Antiques in Tupelo. George was married to the love of his life Bertha Jo Livingston and they enjoyed traveling, and especially loved England and Scotland not only to shop for antiques for his store, but to enjoy the sights. He also briefly held a realtor's license and sold real estate. He loved fishing and was a member of Five Counties Sportsman Lake Club in Guntown. George was of strong faith and was a charter member of St. Luke United Methodist Church. He thoroughly enjoyed meeting new people and talking to old friends. He never met a stranger. George passed away on December 14, 2017.