Gary Edmond Williams|
Gary Edmond Williams, born in Seattle on March 19, 1935, passed away peacefully on June 12, 2013 in Kirkland, WA. An only child born to June and Percy Williams of Iowa, Gary lived a wonderful life, surrounded by family and friends. After a year at home with rheumatic fever as a youth, Gary was eager to get out and enjoy the world. And he did, enthusiastically, for 78 years. He attended Roosevelt High School in Seattle, a member of Roughriders and the annual staff. He became an Eagle Scout at the age of 17. A natural and talented artist, after studying architecture, Gary designed his parents' house while still a teen. He earned his BA in Journalism from Pacific University in Oregon, and an MBA from Seattle University. He served briefly in the Army in the late 1950's, and began working for Kenworth Trucks soon after college.
Gary married the love of his life, Eleanor Sue Turman, in 1959 at the University Congregational Church. The newlyweds (who met on a blind date) then drove to Carmel, CA in his '55 Chevy for their honeymoon. In 1965, Gary and Ellie welcomed their daughter, Cynthia Lorraine, into the world - another only child who he fondly referred to as "my favorite daughter." Gary worked for PACCAR for 23 years as a business executive, invested wisely, and retired at the ripe old age of 45. He continued as a business consultant, and later applied his artistic eye and woodworking skills as an antique dealer. Gary also volunteered for United Way and the Seattle Chamber of Commerce.
Gary and Ellie spent retirement in their lovely home along the shores of Lake Washington, where he enjoyed boating, entertaining, barbecuing, and watching the Mariners play baseball on TV, usually with a pet cat in his lap. A lifelong night owl, the only times he would get up early were to fish, or to search for antique treasures at garage sales. He and Ellie loved to travel and went on many trips and cruises to exotic destinations. Gary was upbeat, welcoming, and wise, with a wry sense of humor. Strong yet humble, he preferred casual, down-to-earth living. By simply being himself, Gary filled a large presence in the world.
Gary had a stroke on June 10th and passed gently into heaven two days later. He is survived by his loving wife of 54 years, his daughter, and his granddaughter Lilly, all whom he adored.
A celebration of Gary's life will be held at the First Presbyterian Church of Bellevue, 1717 Bellevue Way NE, on July 20th at 2:00pm. Remembrances may be made to United Way of King County or Union Gospel Mission.
Published in The Seattle Times from June 27 to June 28, 2013