Watson, Hunter Brooks, 20, died on June 18 in Dover, Del. due to injuries suffered in an automobile collision. Hunter was a passenger in one of two vehicles involved and, although wearing his seat belt, died at the scene.
Hunter was a rising junior at Syracuse University majoring in Information Management and Technology, and was spending the summer with his family in McLean, Va. He was employed as a lifeguard as well as working on potential ventures in the area of predictive analytics.
Hunter was born in Fairfax County on Sept. 18, 1995 to Judith Z. (Brooks) Watson and Jerry C. Watson. He graduated from The Potomac School in McLean in 2014 as a “lifer,” having attended the school from kindergarten through 12th grade. Hunter hoped to enter the field of data analytics, or “big data,” after graduation. He became interested in computers, Internet technology and related areas at an early age and continually experimented with ideas for web-based businesses. In addition to his interest in technology, Hunter was passionate and knowledgeable about music, and enjoyed a broad spectrum of genres, both as a listener and a performer. He sang and played a number of instruments and wrote and recorded his original work until shortly before his death.
In 2006, 10-year-old Hunter formed Black Out Band and the music video for their song “Video Games” became a YouTube hit, earning over 5 million views. Watson intended the song and video to poke fun at affluent, zombie-like kids hooked on video games and felt it was misunderstood by many critics. The Black Out Band did not record further albums but the experience left Hunter with a love for making videos and performing. He planned to try out stand up comedy at open mike nights at local clubs this summer and was also writing a script for a short comedy film he wanted to produce.
Hunter was a passionate athlete and sports enthusiast, and participated in wrestling, baseball, and football on community teams at the Potomac School and Syracuse. He was a fan of soccer and loved to play informally, although his interest developed too late for a high school career. He enjoyed following University of Alabama football, and attended several games a year with his father, a graduate of the University.
At Syracuse, Watson pledged the Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity, following his father who was a founding member of its chapter at the University of Alabama.
Hunter was the grandson of noted designer Theodore R. Zeigler of Alexandria, Va., who invented the first folding geodesic dome and founded Virginia-based companies Nomadic Display, Inc. and World Shelters, Inc. to produce the Instand brand of pop-up exhibits and a range of emergency shelters widely used by government agencies around the world. Hunter is also survived by his parents and one sibling, Theodore (Teddy) William Watson, 25, NYU Class of 2016; his aunt Connie (Zeigler) Thomasson of Alexandria, Va. (husband Mike); and cousins Denise Fruik of Louisa, Va. (husband Chris), Lynn (Watson) Ireland of Tuscaloosa (husband Robert), Nancy (Watson) Thomas of Montgomery (husband George), and Jamey Watson of Birmingham (wife Lisa) and the late Carol (Watson) Christian of Birmingham (husband Steve).
He was also the grandson of the late William J. Watson and Georgia (Mixon) Watson of Montgomery and great grandson of Dr. “Bob” Robert Hunter Watson and Myra (Cook) Watson of Georgiana and George William Mixon and Mary Serena (Page) of Garland.
A memorial service was attended by more than 500 friends and family to celebrate Hunter Watson’s life on July 9 at The Potomac School in McLean.
Funeral services will be held at the First United Methodist Church of Georgiana on Aug. 27 at 2 p.m. followed by burial at Oakwood Cemetery.