Ralph James Watt passed away on Friday August 16, 2019 at the Hospital Salpetriere in Paris where he was being treated for multiple fractures and infections.
Ralph was the son of the late Robert W. Watt and Debrah Welton Watt of Alliance, Nebraska. Ralph graduated from Alliance High School in 1966 and attended Nebraska Wesleyan University and then New York University, where he was assistant editor of “The Washington Square Journal,” a daily newspaper. He worked for “Women’s Wear Daily” and “Home Furnishings Daily” before moving to France in 1971.
Ralph spent the next 48 years living overseas, most of them in his apartment in a 13th century building on the rue Sainte-Genevieve in the 5th arrondissement of Paris. Ralph worked as a teacher of English for most of those years. He also wrote poetry for many years and gave readings in Paris and other cities in France and in Florence, Italy.
He had a magnificent view of Notre Dame from his window and he enjoyed listening to its bells as well as the closer bells of Saint Etienne du Mont. In his later years, Ralph became a sort of fixture in the neighborhood and made a wide variety of friends from around the world.
Ralph will be remembered as a very gentle and literate man who loved the written word. He loved his adopted country, but never forgot his roots in western Nebraska. He also held a special regard for sailing off the coast of Ireland.
He was predeceased in death by his father and mother.