Bruce W. Williams
Salem, OR - Born in Grants Pass, OR, January 19, 1919. Educated in public schools and graduated in June of 1936, which was the last class to graduate from Salem High School when located at present site of Macy's. Was one of the last three sport lettermen at Salem High School in football, basketball and baseball. Attended college freshman year at San Mateo Junior College. Graduated Willamette University in 1940 and attended Willamette College of Law in 1940 and early 1941 before entering the United Sates Navy pre flight in April 1941.
Commissioned Naval aviator in 1942 and saw extended combat action as a fighter pilot aboard the U.S.S. carrier Lexington in the South Pacific. He was awarded the Navy Cross and three Distinguished Flying Crosses and shot down seven Japanese planes. He was a member of the American Fighter Aces Association. In May of 2018 he was flown back to Washington D.C. and was presented with the Congressional Gold Medal of Honor.
Returned to Willamette University College of Law and graduated in 1948. Was admitted to the Oregon State Bar January 1, 1948. For 21 years was associated as a partner with late Judge Otto R. Skopil. In 1972 the firm was Williams Skopil Miller Wyllie Beck and Parks P.C. in 1973 after Judge Skopil was appointed as a member of Circuit Court of Appeals he reorganized to Bruce W. Williams P.C. 1976 the firm grew to Williams and Spooner P.C., in 1978 it was Williams Spooner and Graves P.C., in 1983 it became Williams Spooner and Much P.C.
He was appointed as Chairman of the Liquor Control Commission in 1955. Other positions held included President of the Northwest Division of Horsemen's Benevolent Association in 1972; President of the Oregon Thoroughbred Breeder's Association, 1975-77; National Federation of Insurance Counsel President 1979-80; member of the International Society of Barristers. Was long-time trial counsel for State Farm Mutual in Salem beginning in 1952, when with Judge Skopil, the firm was active in acquisition of the properties where State Farm Company had its regional office.
He was long active in garden activities; Little League Baseball; he enjoyed fishing of all kinds; and was one of the original three Salem men who incorporated and constructed Illahe Hills Country Club.
He is survived by his wife of 47 years, A. Carol Williams, daughters Darby Dizard-Cherney, Debora Bluestone, Kathryn Doerksen, and son Paul Doerksen, 5 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren. Arrangements by City View Funeral Home, Salem, Oregon.
Published in The Statesman Journal on Dec. 23, 2018.