Obituary: George W. Williams

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George W. Williams, 84, passed away April 2, 2009, at the Colorado State Veterans Nursing Home in Rifle. His parents, Ida and Albert raised 11 children on a ranch near Walsenburg, Colo., where George was born on June 1, 1924. In 1944, he enlisted in the Marine Corps and fought for his country at Iwo Jima where he was wounded. He was honorably discharged in 1946.
phgeorgewilliamsHe arrived in the White River Valley in 1947 while working on drilling rigs in the Piceance basin. He met Marilyn, the daughter of Posey and Dr. Walter E. Taylor, and they were married on May 9, 1948, at Saint James Church in Meeker. After working on drilling rigs in Wyoming, George and Marilyn returned to Meeker in 1952. George started working for Texaco as a roustabout at the Wilson Creek oil field, and after 34 years of dedicated service, he retired in 1986.
George enjoyed hunting in Josephine Basin, fishing the White River at the confluence of the north and south forks, gardening, dancing, playing bridge and watching football.
After 38 years of marriage, his wife preceded him in death. He is survived by his son, Doug; daughter-in-law Sally; one brother, James; one sister, Ida; one sister-in-law, Barbara; and three granddaughters, Sara, Cindy and Laura.
Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, April 11 at Saint James Episcopal Church.
In lieu of flowers, tax deductible contributions to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, Church Street Station, P.O. Box 780, New York, N.Y. 10008-0780, or, would be appreciated.

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  1. George Williams
    April 11, 2009

    Good morning. I am Doug Williams, George’s son.

    On behalf of the Williams family, I want to thank you for being here. It feels right to be here this morning as George’s roots were very deep in St. James’ Episcopal Church. On May 9, 1948, George Williams was baptized and married in this church. In 1949 his son was baptized here. On September 21, 1981, his grand-daughter Cindy was baptized here. On March 20, 1986, George’s wife was laid to rest here. And today, George Williams will be laid to rest in Saint James Church.

    They say that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Well, this adage holds true for the next generation too. Through his grand-daughters, part of the core essence of George Williams lives on.

    The Great Depression significantly shaped my father’s life. As a result, he was very frugal, self sufficient and hard working. Those core values have been downloaded to his grand-daughters who are also very frugal, self sufficient and hard working.

    George had an ability to visualize many disjointed pieces and could quickly understand how they are interconnected. Sara, you get your strategic planning skills from Grandpa.

    George loved to hunt, fish, and work outdoors. His granddaughter Cindy is a forester in northern New Hampshire who loves hunting, fishing and the outdoors.

    George loved to work with the soil to grow crops — be it on the Walsenburg ranch where he grew up, on his brother-in-law’s Powel Park ranch, or in his vegetable garden at 757 Cleveland. And now his youngest grand-daughter, Laura, is an organic farmer in northern Wisconsin.

    Clearly, the apples of the apple didn’t fall far from the tree.

    Dad worked hard, but he also enjoyed life. A few years ago, I asked him what his favorite memory was when I was growing up in Meeker … and without hesitation, he said watching me compete in high school sports. Dad was an avid sports fan – sometimes a little too avid.

    I was a wrestler in high school, and during one big match, I happened to pin my opponent. Well, Dad came zooming out of the stands, ran onto the mat, and patted me on the back. In my four years of high school wrestling or perhaps even in the history of Meeker High School, no other parent has stormed the wrestling mat!

    While attending Colorado University, I knew that my Dad would love to attend a CU football game. So, during my senior year, I talked one of my room-mates out of his ticket, and got Dad seated on the 50 yard line in the student section. Per the time honored tradition of CU students, we sneaked some liquor into the game.

    Now please visualize the scene: A 50 year old man having a wonderful time, while sitting with a bunch of 20 years olds, drinking booze and watching the football game. By the fourth quarter, we were feeling no pain.

    After the game, we were climbing the concrete stairs to leave the stadium, and dad accidently dropped our liquor bottle which shattered. Without missing a beat, he held up his hands, stopped everyone in their tracks, asked them to bow their heads, and he commenced to hold funeral services for the broken bottle of booze. The CU students told me that I had the coolest Dad!

    So, who was George Williams? I believe our character is who we are. Abraham Lincoln said: “Reputation is the shadow. Character is the tree.” Let me to share a glimpse of my father’s character: In the mid-1960’s my mother was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis which eventually left her as an invalid.

    My dad would get up early in the morning, take care of Mother’s needs, and leave for a full day’s work in the oil fields at Wilson Creek. When he returned from work, he spent the evening and night taking care of Mother. He was Mother’s sole care giver for about 20 years as Mother’s health failed. He did it when no one was watching. He did it without ever complaining. He did it because it was the right thing to do. He did it because he made a promise when he married Mom on May 9, 1948. He did it for true love.

    And so I return to the question: Who was George Williams? George Williams was a kind, loving, and good husband, father, and grandpa.

    In conclusion, I would like to quote a tombstone in Ireland: “Death leaves a heartache that no one can heal; love leaves a memory that no one can steal.”

    I know there is a spring blessing with my father’s passing as he no longer suffers the ravages of Parkinson’s disease. However, his passing leaves his family and friends with a heartache.

    But his love of his family and friends leaves us with heartfelt memories.

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