Obituary: Kris E. Watson, Assistant Director of Information Access

Kris E. Watson
Kris E. Watson

Kris E. Watson, 46, of Amherst, assistant director of information access in disability services, died March 29.

Born January 12, 1973, she graduated from West Bridgewater High School in 1991 and earned her bachelor’s degree from UMass Amherst.

Watson worked for UMass Amherst as a student and professional for twenty-eight years, since she came to campus in 1991. Since 2010, she served in several roles in disability services, including exam proctoring coordinator, consumer manager and the assistant director of information access.

A dedicated advocate for students with disabilities, she often served as a bridge between students and instructors, making connections and exuding care along the way. Notoriously generous, Kris was well known for her quick wit, wry humor and love for cooking. Her diligence as a problem solver was unparalleled. She had a life-long love of animals, and could often be found out in the stables caring for horses or hand sewing toys for her two beloved cats, Thelma and Louise.  

She is survived by her sister, Lynn Leary and her husband Tim of Saco, Maine, her sister Denise McCarthy and her husband Michael of Cape Coral, Florida, her brother Glenn Watson and his wife, Lisa of Bridgewater, Massachusetts and many nieces and nephews. Kris will be sorely missed by her scores of friends, colleagues and students.

A memorial in Kris’ honor will be held at Old Chapel on Thursday, May 23 from 4 to 7 p.m.

Disability services is raising funds to create a scholarship in memory of Kris E. Watson, which will provide continued scholarship support for students with disabilities