Rev. Dr. John H. Bennett
With many citizens of Mid-Missouri and others across the state, I’m saddened by the untimely death of Bob Watson, noted journalist with the News Tribune. I first met him on the Capital Area CROP Hunger Walk in 1994 and sensed the depth and breadth of his faith. Later, as I was involved in social justice advocacy at the Capitol with Missouri Faith Voices, and participated in and witnessed numerous press conferences, I was impressed with his probing questions and his grasp of the issues. Always he displayed professional objectivity, but I sensed that he too had a passion for social justice, personally.
After my arrest with clergy colleagues in the “Medicaid 23” Capitol Protest, May 6, 2014, regarding the refusal of the Missouri Legislature to support Medicaid expansion, whenever Bob would see me he would say with a wry smile, “Hi, John, let me see your handcuffs!” Humor was one of his many gifts! He covered our Aug. 15-19 trial in the Cole County Circuit Court admirably. When we were pardoned by Gov. Jay Nixon in January 2017, I’m sure Bob rejoiced with us.
I was honored to be interviewed by Bob for a News Tribune “Portrait” in December 2017 and appreciated his genuine interest in my varied and lengthy ministerial career. I savor precious memories of a gifted journalist, a man of deep faith and a delightful personality.