C. L. Williams, 87, passed away Saturday, June 8, 2013, at the Valley View Villa Nursing Home in Fort Morgan. He was born July 7, 1925, in Ollie, IA, to Forest and Gwendolyn Williams at his grandmother's farm and came to Fort Morgan at the age of 6 weeks. He attended Peace Valley School, Victory School, and Fort Morgan Schools, graduating from Fort Morgan High School in 1943. In high school, he was president of FFA and competed at the state level in judging. After graduating, he joined the U.S. Navy, serving in the Pacific.
In August 1945, after the war was over, his ship went to Samar, Philippines, waiting for a convoy to Okinawa. LaVaughn and 5 other men went ashore to pick up the mail. A typhoon formed and their ship had to leave without them. A brother-in-law wired C. L. $100 and the men stayed at army bases until they found a ship sailing for Okinawa. They arrived too late. The ship had already left for Shanghai. They kept missing the ship in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Manila and back to Samar 5 miles from where they left 70 days earlier.
On May 11, 1946, he married Bertha May (Bert) Randels. Later that year C. L. began his career with Farmers State Bank in Fort Morgan as a bookkeeper and retiring as executive vice president in 1988. Early in his career, he attended the University of Colorado School of Banking and later became an instructor. His second jobs included Rocky Mountain News distributor and campaign work at Great Western Sugar Company.
In 1973, he and Bert began Williams Children's Shop with stores in Fort Morgan. Later expanding the shops to Yuma, Wray, and Sterling, which they operated for 21 years.
LaVaughn's community involvement included life membership in the American Legion and VFW #2551, past exalted ruler of BPOE "Elks," past president of Fort Morgan County Club, and former member of the Optimist Club and the Frontier Investment Club. He loved all types of sports, bowling, playing softball, and refereeing high school football and basketball. He held Denver Bronco season tickets for four decades. He was also a member of the Fort Morgan United Methodist Church.
Survivors include his wife, Bertha May (Bert) of Fort Morgan; 5 children, Apryl (Glen) Cooper of Northglenn, CO, Don (Deiana) Williams of Fort Morgan, Howard (Christina) Williams of Poolesville, MD, Rickey (Deborah) Williams of Tucson, AZ, and Cheryl (Clarke) Yearous of Nampa, ID; 1 brother, Keith Williams of Fort Morgan; 1 sister, Shirley Green of Loveland; 10 grandchildren and 7 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by 1 sister, Mary Ella Ringwold, 1 brother, Francis Williams, and his parents.
A memorial service will be Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. at the Fort Morgan United Methodist Church. Inurnment will be in Memory Gardens. The Heer Mortuary & Crematory is entrusted with the arrangements. Family suggests memorial gifts may be given to the Fort Morgan United Methodist Church.
Published in The Fort Morgan Times on June 11, 2013