Born in Baltimore and raised in Mount Washington, he was the son of Raymond Watson, a machine firm owner, and Irene Slaysman. He was a 1947 graduate of Loyola High School, where he played lacrosse.
He attended the Johns Hopkins University's School of Engineering and earned a degree at the University of Maryland's School of Agriculture.
Mr. Watson remained active in lacrosse. He was a past president of the Maryland Lacrosse Club and was active in the US Lacrosse Foundation
He met his future wife, Jean Lindeman, while on vacation at Ocean City.
After working for his father's machine business, he joined his wife in founding Watson Caterers in 1974. They worked together at parties and corporate events and operated concession stands at the Maryland State Fair, the Johns Hopkins Spring Fair and the Baltimore City Fair.
He and his wife owned and operated Watson's Top of the Round in Harborplace beginning in 1980 and opened a lunch counter in 1982 in the south wing of Lexington Market.
Mr. Watson retired in the late 1990s.
"My father was a born entertainer too," said a daughter, Tracey Watson of Baltimore. "He loved to stage entertainments for his family and friends. He was a fan of Broadway musicals and would break into song almost anywhere."
He was a member of the Baltimore Country Club, where he played golf and bridge.
A Mass will be offered at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Shrine of the Sacred Heart, 5800 Smith Ave.
Other survivors include a son, Christopher Watson of Dallas; another daughter, Leslie W. Kidner of Annapolis; five grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren. His wife of 57 years died in 2009.