CPA and financial planner James L. Watt was a hard-working man driven to help people improve their quality of life during their retirement, his daughter Hope Wargo said.
Watt, 82, of Fort Collins, Colo., and formerly of Highland, advised his clients on planning for retirement. He wrote a featured column on the subject for the Times of Northwest Indiana.
A Griffith High School graduate, upon becoming a CPA, Watt was hired as comptroller for Hammond Valve Co.
He established James L. Watt CPAs in Schererville. In 1997, Watt sold his business and, with his wife, Mickie, moved to Fort Collins.
A past president of the Hammond Chamber of Commerce, Watt was a 42-year member of Rotary, receiving a Paul Harris Fellow award for his longtime support of Rotary scholarships, donating money in memory of his late son, Brian. A co-founding member of the Highland Jaycees, Watt was recognized by the Indiana Jaycees as one of five "outstanding young men 1966."
Watt loved snowmobiling and travel, Wargo said.
“He did find time for snowmobiling until he was 81,” Wargo said. “He took annual weeklong trips to Michigan.”
Watt visited all 50 states, his favorite being Alaska, where he went dog sledding and snowmobiling while staying in a rustic hunting cabin. He drove the Yukon Highway in his SUV.
Watt’s adventures included white water rafting, an African safari and traveling to London and Australia.
“He liked to talk about places he had been,” Wargo said. “His big thing was that before he would travel overseas he must see all 50 states.
Wargo will miss talking to her father.
“I mostly miss the political talks,” Wargo said. “He was very opinionated and could get into arguments making his point of view. I will miss those little confrontations.”