Gary Watts was born in 1940 in Logan, Utah into a committed Mormon family. He attended Utah State University, where he was captain of the basketball team and was named to the 1963-64 Academic All-American team. After serving a two-year church mission in New Zealand, he married Mildred ‘Millie’ Cragun, his sweetheart since middle school. Gary then attended the University of Utah College of Medicine, graduating in 1968.
Millie Watts was born in 1941, also in Logan. Her dad was a well-known and popular family practice physician. In the 15 years after they got married, Millie and Gary had six children. Life was exactly how they had envisioned it, and they were happy.
Gary worked for 35 years as a radiologist at the Utah Valley Regional Medical Center in Provo, Utah. He was president of the UVRMC medical staff in 1981-82, and president of the Utah Medical Foundation in 1988-89. Millie was involved in a panoply of activities, serving as president of the Provo PTA, president of the Utah County Medical Auxiliary, and president of her church’s primary education program three times.
Just before Christmas 1989, Gary and Millie’s son Craig told Gary he was gay. When Gary told Millie, she thought one trip to the psychiatrist would straighten Craig out. She also wondered how it was possible that a good kid like Craig could be gay.
Three years after coming out to his parents, Craig was excommunicated by the Mormon Church. Gary and Millie were forced to choose between their church and Craig. They chose Craig. They soon became deeply involved with LDS Family Fellowship, which supports Mormon families with LGBTQ members and friends. They have also served on the board of PFLAG, a nationwide organization dedicated to uniting LGBTQ+ people with family and allies.
In 1997, Gary and Millie’s daughter Lori came out as lesbian. Lori and her wife Sherene have two children by artificial insemination. Meanwhile, Craig fathered three sons through egg donation and surrogacy in Asia, where he lived for decades. In 2015, Craig moved back to Provo to enlist Gary and Millie’s help in raising his kids. Gary and Millie are grateful for the role that modern medicine has played in providing them with these five grandchildren, to go with eight more from their other kids.