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Richard Van Williams


1932 - 2018 Obituary Condolences
Richard Van Williams Obituary
Richard Van Williams, 85, of Pingree, Idaho passed away peacefully, Thursday, Feb. 1, 2018 at Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center in Idaho Falls surrounded by family.
He was born at home Nov. 29, 1932 in Thomas, Idaho the eighth child of 12 to Cornelious Williams and Laura Gertrude Van Orden Williams.
He started school at the age of 5 and graduated from Snake River High School in Moreland in 1951. He played football and basketball and participated in drama during his high school years. He attended a World Scout Jamboree in 1950.
He attended Ricks College where he sang in a quartet. He also attended Grimms Business College and Idaho Falls Business College. In 1953, he was drafted into the Army during the Korean Conflict
He was stationed in Bordeaux, France and was a teletype and telephone operator. While on an eight -day leave he returned to the states and married Melva Rose Goodwin on Sept. 30, 1953 in the Logan LDS Temple. 
She preceded him in death on Aug. 28, 1965, from a brain tumor. With small small children he needed another wife to help raise them. About seven months later on March 18, 1966 he married Nila Shirlene Harker, in the Idaho Falls Temple, an angel sent to bless his life. 
Nila preceded him in death on Jan. 30, 1999 from injuries sustained in a pedestrian/vehicle accident. Once again he was blessed with a beautiful sweetheart, Sharon Hoopes Thompson. They were married March 27, 1999 in Blackfoot, Idaho.
He lived in Pingree, Thomas and Shelley.
Richard was most grateful for his family, church and country. He was a faithful member and servant in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints where he served as a high councilman, counselor in a Bishopric, teacher, Scoutmaster,  in a stake missionary presidency, Young Men's president, ward clerk, and as a temple ordinance worker.
Although he was not able to serve a mission as a young man because he was drafted into war, he was able to serve four missions. His first was served with his wife, Nila in the Texas McAllen mission in 1998. 
Then he served three missions with Sharon. The first of those in the Arizona Pinon mission serving on the Navajo Indian Reservation. Then in 2006 they were called to serve in the Family and Church History Mission in Salt Lake City, Utah. Their last call was to serve a four month mission to Deseret Land and Livestock as Trek Assistants in Woodruff, Utah.
It was important for Richard to be a part of the community and during Bingham County's Centennial year he served on the Committee and was elected as Bingham County Commissioner, serving for a four year term (1985-89). During this time they oversaw the building of a new courthouse. He also was a member of Potato Growers of Idaho.
Richard's greatest enjoyment came from spending time with family, attending family reunions and visiting with friends. He had a favorite fishing hole in Pahsimeroi Valley and enjoyed singing. Politics has also been an important part of his life and the freedoms he enjoyed were dear to his heart.
He was a hard working farmer and dairyman and also had worked as a realtor. Most importantly, his priorities in life were his faith in God, his love for his family and others and his love for his country.
He is survived by his wife, Sharon of Pingree, Idaho; children, Roseanne (Gus) Johnson of Taylorsville, Utah, Loretta Williams of Riverside, Calif., Grant (Wendy) Williams of Riverside, Serena (Paul) Yancey of Blackfoot, Marilyn (Val) Jensen of Weston, Idaho, Zina (Kyle) Johnson of Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. Sarah (Tim) Anderson of Pocatello, Kyle (Katie) Williams of Rexburg, Idaho, Krystel (Kevin) Matheson of Ontario, Calif. and Rebecca (Travis) Mecham of Kuna, Idaho; step-children Cynthia (Tracy) Wyant of West Jordan, Utah, Michelle (Ted) Martinez of Salt Lake City, Warner (Casey) Thompson of Chubbuck, Stephanie (Eric) Nakahara of Las Vegas, Jennifer (Dan) Jordan of Lehi, Utah, Mayda Thompson of Eagle Mountain, Utah, Mary Ann (Mark) Ombremski of South Jordan, UT, David Thompson of Eagle Mountain, Utah, Karen (Mark) Lawyer of Kearneysville, WVA, Kim (Gary) Schneiter of Sandy, Utah; 72 grandchildren and 51 great- grandchildren with three on the way; sister, Leah (Ezra) Robertson of Riverside, Idaho, Stanley (Nancy) Williams of Pingree and Neal Williams of Pingree.
He was preceded in death by his parents, wife, Melva Rose Goodwin, wife, Nila Shirlene Harker; brothers and sisters, Gayle Williams, Marie Whyte, John Williams, Helen Lloyd, David Williams, Ruth Polatis, Margaret LaPray, and Gertrude Wray.
A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 7 at the Blackfoot West Stake Center, 101 N. 900 W. Family will meet with friends from 6-8 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 6 at Hawker Funeral Home, 132 S. Shilling Ave. and for one hour prior to the service at the church. Burial will be in Riverside-Thomas Cemetery.
Condolences may be sent to the family: www.hawkerfuneralhome.com.
Published in The Morning News on Feb. 4, 2018
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