Gordon Williams

Obituary
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Mr. Gordon E. Williams, 96, of Weare, NH formerly of Danvers, MA, beloved husband of the late Cynthia Williams (Kammann), died peacefully Friday May 2nd 2014 at the Masconomet Healthcare Center in Topsfield. Born on April 3rd, 1918 in Danvers, Gordon was the son of the late Ralph Williams, a former stock broker and Massachusetts State Representative, and Ellen, a dedicated mother. He was brother to the late Gardiner Williams, a retired teacher and retired colonel in the Army, and brother of Ruth Kingsley of Wenham. Gordon was every bit a family man enjoying get togethers for no special occasion and sharing time with his family whenever possible. This was a tradition and joy that was instilled in his life by his parents during the Great Depression. He once said that the only positive thing to come f rom the Great Depression was families spent more time together because there was no money to do anything else!! He loved to sit and listen to his family talk about their lives helping with problems with any advice he could. Most family time was usually spent outdoors doing some sort of activity. The outdoors was Gordon's place! He enjoyed ice skating, swimming, horseback riding, boating, snowmobiling, riding one of his 2 ATV's, waterskiing, woodworking, skydiving at the age of 88, golfing, hiking, camping, RV-ing with his late wife Cynthia, working n the yard, building horse barns for his horses-if it was outdoors he was involved. To say he was active would be an understatement. These activities were shared with his children, his grandchildren, and his great grandchildren. Activities that are enjoyed today by all of his family members thanks to his passion and influence on spending time actively in the outdoors. When he could no longer participate in a lot of these, watching his family do these activities brought him much joy, participating any way he could. Out of all the things Gordon experienced in his life, one decision changed Gordon forever. The bombing of Pearl Harbor helped make an easy choice for him to enlist on January 10, 1942 in the Air Force as a Bombardier on a B-17 bomber. A choice he made that he was so proud of through all his years. After flying a successful 25 missions his plane was shot down and Gordon was forced to bail out over Poland and was immediately captured by the Germans. He spent 15 months in a prison camp where he managed to survive starvation, sickness, and abuse. His camp was eventually freed by the Russians and Gordon was able to return home to his family in Danvers, surprising them, hitching his final ride from the local milkman. Upon his return from WW II, a new sport had taken shape that became one of his most beloved activities--SKIING. A sport he was so passionate about that he used to go up to Cranmore in NH and watch the famous ski instructor Hannes Shneider from Austria teach people to ski. He could never afford to pay for a lesson so instead chose to get as close as he could to the lesson and learn anything from the legend. He became so interested that this new sport became the new family activity. He taught all his children and grandchildren to ski from what he had learned from Schneider and would take them skiing whenever he could. He also had the experience of skiing with his daughter, grandson, and great grandchildren at Sunday River in Maine at the age of 88--4 generations of skiers- something that is unheard of and made him so very proud! Wherever Gordon went he managed to make people laugh with his friendly outgoing personality. Whether he was spending time with his 2nd family of various characters in around Gloucester that he had befriended through his good friend Tom Lucido or hanging around his hometown of Weare, Gordon always made that sticking impression which made people want to be around him! Gordon is survived by his sister, Ruth Kingsley of Wenham, one son and three daughters, Dana Williams of Gloucester, Bethany of Waterford, ME, Thear Jenkinson and her husband Joseph of Boxford and Julie Williams & Thomas Lucido of Danvers, three step children, Walter Durack and his wife Gretchen of Epson NH, Pamela Durack of South Berwick, ME, Hugh Durack and his wife Lori of Weare, NH, ten grandchildren, Peter and Heidi Johnson, Jill and Taylor Jenkinson, Walter and Benjamin Durack, Seamus, Ewen, and Linden Towle, and Kammann Durack and two great-grandchildren Molly and Caleb Johnson. ARRANGEMENTS: Per his longtime request, there will be no services. Assisting the family with the arrangements is the Peterson-ODonnell Funeral Home 167 Maple St., (rte 62) Danvers. To share a memory or offer a condolence, please visit www. odonnellfuneralservice.com

Published in The Tri-Town Transcript from May 13 to May 20, 2014
Funeral Home
Peterson-O'Donnell Funeral Home
167 Maple Street Danvers, MA 01923
(978) 774-6600
Funeral Home Details
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