Roe Watts at his favorite place in his time at the JCPenney store in Alton.ALTON — The City of Alton is in mourning as the week of June 10, 2024, begins, following the devastating loss of Roaddecker Watts, 68. Watts was found deceased at his home last week by first responders from the Alton Police and Fire Departments.

Alton Police Chief Jarrett Ford confirmed Watts' identity and stated that an investigation into his death is ongoing as of Monday.

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Watts, affectionately known as "Roe," was a beloved figure in the community. Michael Paynic, owner of Bubby and Sissy’s bar, where Roe was a frequent patron, described him as “everyone’s friend.”

“He was always dressed to the T,” Paynic said. “He was always positive and helpful to everyone.” Roe was known for hosting Bubby and Sissy’s birthday parties every third Tuesday of each month.

“Roe was always welcoming,” Paynic added. “He will be greatly missed by his Bubby and Sissy’s family and friends. He will also be missed by the entire community.”

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Sara McGibany, executive director of Alton Main Street, shared her sentiments on Roe’s passing, noting that running into him was “always the highlight of the evening.”

“I was very sad to hear of his passing,” McGibany said. “I am sending love to all his friends and family. Downtown Alton won’t be the same without him.”

C.J. Nasello, host of the Our Daily Show! on Riverbender.com, recounted a personal story about Roe's kindness.

“When I was involved in all the chaos after my grandfather, Charlie, dying, I didn’t even have a proper tie for his visitation,” Nasello said. “I went over to Roe at JCPenney and he took care of me right away. He even tied my tie for me. Roe took care of people that way at the store every day and loved working with everyone.”

Libby Mark, the general manager at JCPenney in Alton, reflected on Roe's impact with a poignant message: “Love yourself and each other... life is short,” she said.

As the community grapples with the loss of a cherished member, the memories of Roe’s generosity and warmth continue to resonate throughout Alton.

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