Judge Darrell J. Williams|
August 31, 1921 - April 9, 2014
Darrell J. Williams, formerly of Dallas and Salem, died at home, with family at his bedside, in LaQuinta, California on April 9, 2014. He was 92 years old.
Darrell was born on August 31, 1921 near Independence, Missouri, one of 8 children. During the Great Depression the family moved to Beaverton, Oregon in pursuit of work. Darrell graduated from Beaverton High School after distinguishing himself as a gifted trumpet player in the high school band. After graduation, Darrell formed and led a dance band in the Portland area for several years until enlisting in the Coast Guard in 1941. He married Florence Viducich in 1943 in Portland. Following his military discharge, Darrell attended college at the University of Portland, where he was encouraged and inspired by Holy Cross priests to attend law school.
Darrell started law school at Northwestern College of Law in Portland in 1948, the same year their oldest son, Ronald, was born. Their second child, Gary, was born in 1951, the same year Darrell graduated from Northwestern and passed the Oregon bar exam. The family then moved to Dallas and Darrell started his legal career in the Dallas office of Salem Title Company. Several years later Darrell entered private practice in Dallas, where their third child, Nancy, was born.
Darrell served as justice of the peace for Polk County until 1959, when he was appointed to serve as the first district court judge for Polk County. In 1960 the family moved to West Salem, to enable the children to attend Catholic schools in Salem. In 1965 he was appointed to a newly created circuit court judge position for Polk and Yamhill counties. He ran unopposed for 5 elections, serving as a judge for 27 years until his retirement in 1986. 3 years later, Darrell and Florence moved to the golfing community of PGA West in LaQuinta, California. Although he loved to golf, Darrell treasured his wife and children, and his work as a lawyer and judge, more than anything else.
Darrell and Florence were long-time members of the University Club in Portland, and Illahe Hills Country Club and St. Joseph Catholic Church in Salem.
Darrell was a loving husband and father. He was devoted to Florence throughout their 71 years of marriage. They enjoyed spending time together golfing, dancing, playing bridge and traveling. Darrell often said that the two things that shaped his life was meeting Florence and sharing a wonderful life together, and joining the Catholic Church. He also spent a lot of time with their children, and never missed their little league or high school games or track meets or music recitals.
Darrell was a humble man. He never forgot his roots—he came from a very poor family but a close family—and he stayed in frequent contact with his brothers and sisters around the country. But he also enjoyed life, and found a way to have fun in almost everything he did. He was quick to smile and happily spoke to everyone he encountered.
Darrell was a great example to his family and friends. He worked hard, was honest, never missed Sunday Mass, treated everyone, regardless of social stature, with dignity and courtesy, loved and valued family and friends, helped those in need, and had fun and enjoyed life.
Darrell is survived by his wife of 71 years, Florence; and his children: Ron Williams of Portland, Oregon; Gary Williams of Powell Butte, Oregon; and Nancy Slauson of Lincoln, Nebraska; 10 grandchildren; and 5 great-grandchildren.
Arrangements are by Virgil T. Golden Funeral Service.
Published in StatesmanJournal on Apr. 27, 2014