Jeremy Taylor Williams, 77, passed away in his home Monday evening surrounded by his family. He was born February 19, 1936 in Gig Harbor, Washington to Donald and Irene Williams.
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The Williams family, including his brother Rolf Williams, moved to Ellensburg in 1945. In 1947 the family founded Jerrol's, originally a soda fountain and convenience store.
Jeremy graduated from Ellensburg High School in 1954 and then attended Central Washington State College for a year before serving in the Army until 1956. Upon his return he attended the University of Washington where he met his wife, Annette Elizabeth (Green) Williams. They were married on August 23, 1958.
In 1960 Jerry and Annette returned to Ellensburg to run Jerrol's. The "Jer" from Jerrol's had returned to take ownership and was instrumental in changing Jerrol's from a soda fountain to a college bookstore. Jerry embraced change and brought in technology as fast as it became available.
Jerry was an active member of the Ellensburg and Central Communities. He was adamant that not only did you work hard in your business, but you donated your time and talents in your community. As a result, Jerry served on the First Historical Downtown Association, United Way of Kittitas County, Friends of Washoe, Kittitas County Mental Health/Disability Board, Ellensburg Chamber of Commerce and the Association of Washington Businesses. Jerry wanted to create a downtown that brought people together and gave them a sense of place. In order to do so, he was part of creating the Ellensburg Christmas celebration "Moments to Remember" and helped form the sister city relationship with Sanda City, Japan. Jerry loved encouraging young people and worked with the top 10% scholarship Luncheon Program to provide dictionaries for graduating seniors since 1975.
Jerry was an avid reader, skier, tennis player and gardener. He was a joy to watch ski as he had both control and grace as he tackled any ski hill. Jerry valued reading and education, stressing to his family the importance of both.
Anything lemon put a smile on his face including a lemon in his iced tea. His favorite past time was to discuss ideas surrounding politics, the City of Ellensburg and capitalism as practiced by small business. Later in life he especially enjoyed mowing the lawn and growing dahlias and tomatoes.
In addition to his wife, Annette, he is survived by his children: Michele (Bart) Bradshaw of Ellensburg, Kelli (Bruce) McClelland of Mulino, Oregon, Rolf (Michelle) Williams of Ellensburg and Elizabeth (Craig) Fortier of Battle Ground, Washington. He also has eight grandchildren whom he loved unconditionally, especially enjoying a good piece of chocolate cake while talking of the books they were reading. He was preceded in death by his parents and his brother.
A rosary will be held at St. Andrew's Catholic Church, in Ellensburg, on Sunday, July 21st at 6:30 pm. Funeral services will be held at 11 am on Monday, July 22nd at St. Andrew's. A graveside service and luncheon will immediately follow. The family will also be hosting a Celebration of Jerry's Life at the Kittitas County Fairground's Event Center at 6:30 pm on Wednesday, July 24th.
Memorial donations, in lieu of flowers, may be made in Jerry's name to the local United Way at www.uwcw.org.
Published in Daily Record from July 19 to July 26, 2013