Ronald Thomas Williams was born May 18, 1938, in West Seattle, the son of Irene and Thomas Williams. As the son of a Navy man on the move, he and his only sibling, Susanne, attended schools in Seattle, Japan, San Diego and Hawaii. The Punaho High School long jump record holder for numerous years, loved to remind everyone of fellow Punaho High graduate, President Barack Obama.
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The family returned stateside from Japan with Ron enrolling in college at Claremont and graduating from University of LaVerne, completing his masters at UC Fullerton. His first three years after college were spent teaching special needs high school students, where he developed a work experience program before entering school administration with counseling and coaching responsibilities.
The summer of 1959 brought Ron home in a sense. It was here in Montana where he first spent his summers and eventually moved. His adventures to Montana began with his football coach and mentor, Roland Ortmayer (Ort). Their families would later be united as Ron's only son would marry one of Ort's granddaughters, Erica Bowles.
1970 saw him shift from education to real estate sales and development where he successfully owned and operated his own offices in California and Bozeman. His zeal for working with young people lead him from real estate back into education where he was principal of Capitol Valley Christian High School, San Juan Capistrano. The lure of what Montana offered was too great. In 1993, he and his family moved to Montana, followed quickly by many extended family members and friends, including his sister, Susanne.
Moving to Montana with the intent of creating a new Christian school, he was afforded the opportunity to hone his remarkable skills as a real estate developer from California, here, in the Gallatin Valley. While Ron was active in several real estate committees, he enjoyed the challenge of working with the Legislative Action Committee.
Retiring from real estate, he turned in his tie and began working for AWARE at an autistic boys' home, thus continuing his desire to work with young people, his true life-long passion.
Always a man of deep-seeded faith, he performed with action as well as words taking food supplies to the needy, teaching Sunday school, being a deacon in the church, participating in Cursillo.
Special thanks go to Drs. Benda, Ramsey and Erb as well as the attentive staff at their offices, Gallatin County Rest Home, First Choice Home Health and Rocky Mountain Hospice. Thanks to all for making possible the amazing medical services provided in the Gallatin Valley. The care and compassion shown in this valley allowed Ron a much greater quality of life and he valued the relationships established.
He is survived by his wife, Barb Williams, and her children, Christine (Randy) Warner, Scott Planalp, Kevin (Ashley) Planalp; daughter, Michele Williams (Dave Ronsen); son, Ronald Thomas Williams, Jr., (Erica Williams); sister, Susanne Louise Williams-Kuntz (Thomas Kuntz); niece, Kellie Widick Woodard; nephew, Ronald Widick; and nine grandchildren.
When the tides of life turn against you
And the current upsets your boat,
Don't waste those tears on what might have been
Just lay on your back and float.
Memorials may be made to Rocky Mountain Ministries, an organization dedicated to medical care for the needy beyond our borders. Rocky Mountain Ministries is an ABN for Kalm, Inc. a Montana non-profit religious corporation. Donations should be made out to Kalm, Inc. and mailed to P.O. Box 1371, Bozeman, Montana, 59771.
Donations may also be made to a
A funeral mass will be held Friday, Jan. 10 at 1 p.m. at Resurrection University Catholic Parish.
Arrangements are in the care of Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service, www.dokkennelson.com.
Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service
113 South Willson Avenue
Bozeman, MT 59715
Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle on Jan. 8, 2014