Gordon R. Williamson
GORDON R. WILLIAMSON, age 92, of Farmington, CT, passed away peacefully on Sunday, May 24, 2020. Left to cherish his memory are three daughters - Nancy Crofton (Bill), Linda Terry (Larry) and Janet Knese (Rich); stepchildren Susan Carr (Raegan), Joy Stetler, and David Stetler; 8 grandchildren, 3 stepgrandchildren and 4 great-grandchildren, who lovingly know him as "Papa." Born in Fairhope, AL, Gordon had humble beginnings. An amazing card trick he was taught at age 6 by a drifter in exchange for food during the Depression served him well his entire life. Gordon was a veteran of the US Navy, a University of Miami graduate, Sigma Chi brother and lifelong member of the Iron Arrow Honor Society, the highest honor attainable at the University of Miami. He was married to Betty June Brown Williamson from 1952 until her passing in 1986, then to Linda Calkin Stetler Williamson from 1987 until her passing in 2012. Gordon had one younger sister, Norma, whom he eloquently eulogized at her passing in 2017. IBM was his first and only career path; he began in the sales division in Tampa, FL in 1951 and retired in 1986. In 1955, Gordon was promoted from the domestic side of IBM to IBM World Trade Corporation. He moved his family to New York and went to work at the new headquarters at United Nations Plaza in New York City. Gordon ascended the corporate ladder, serving as Area Manager-Asia Pacific when the family moved to Tokyo, Japan where they resided from 1963 - 1966. This is where he and Betty developed a love for antiques, dishes, and jewelry, especially pearls! A promotion to Marketing Director took the Williamsons back to Greenwich, CT for one year, followed by a move to Paris, France in 1967 – 1972, where Gordon was promoted to Vice President and General Manager of IBM Europe. Thanks to Air France, he discovered Hermes silk scarves and thus began years of collecting them. After IBM World Trade was forced by anti-trust litigation to break up into two companies, Gordon was sent back to New York in 1972, where he served first as Vice President, and then as President of the newly formed IBM World Trade Americas/Far East Corporation. This took the Williamson "party of five" back to their beloved Greenwich home. Decades of upper management IBM positions took Gordon to all 7 continents and 130 countries! Gordon had friends literally around the world. In the foreword of his book, Memoirs of My Years with IBM, he writes: "My IBM career was a glorious and remarkable trip on the road of life and I am most appreciative and grateful." He welcomed people from around the world into his family's home and always regaled his guests with colorful stories. Gordon enjoyed sports of all kinds – golf, tennis, squash, skiing, swimming. In 1988, he and Linda moved to Sarasota where they spent 24 happy years in a busy retirement, entertaining a steady stream of family and guests. Theater, music, church work, bridge and travel plans filled his hours. He especially loved the individual trips he took with each of his grandchildren. Anyone who knew "GRW" will remember him as a most remarkable man. The family will honor him privately.
Published by Hartford Courant on May 27, 2020.
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12 Entries
My first cousin whom I admired for his generosity and love of his Pensacola hometown and relatives always making regular trips to see family and friends over the years. He was the same whether with the intellect or simple. God blessed him with fame and fortune yet he remained true to Honoring God who made it possible.
Jack logsdon
July 24, 2020
As he wished me to call him, Gordy was a wonderful and dear to my heart friend for many many years. He was the sweetest and most caring man I ever knew and I will miss him dearly. I looked forward to his phone calls three or more times a year for the past thirty years. We would sing around conversations like two old birds in a tree.
I wish to dedicate this painting in his honor for his brilliant shining heart and love for life. Bless you and your beautiful family. Thank you Gordy for being my friend.
Rest In Peace,
Jim
James Hutchinson
Friend
June 15, 2020
My father and Gordon were fraternity brothers, college roommates and life long friends. I've known Gordon my entire life and always appreciated his wisdom and great wit. His book is a treasure that I reference often for advice or information on a country in my travel plans. He life is an example to all. My sympathies to the family. Mike
Michael Cashin
Friend
June 2, 2020
He will live on in our memories!
Elisabeth & Axel Krause
Friend
June 1, 2020
Wendy Wright
May 29, 2020
Linda Williamson Terry
Daughter
May 28, 2020
Mary Ann Smith
May 27, 2020
I met Gordon when he first enrolled at the University of Miami and we immediately became close friends and the relations continued with many visits and telephone calls over more than seventy years, including a long and pleasant call last Friday at which he seemed fine. I have so many fond memories of our activities together and I could spend hours talking about Gordon. He had the finest and sharpest mind of anyone I ever met and he favorably affected and improved the lives of a huge number of people. He was the best friend a person could have. Words could not describe how much I, his family and others will miss him. I extend my deepest sympathy to all his family. .www.legacy.com/guestbooks/posting-guidelines.aspx?n=gordon-r-williamson&pid=19624acy.com/guestbooks/posting-guidelines.aspx?n=gordon-r-williamson&pid=196241473 and improved the lives of a huge number of people.
David McDonald
Friend
May 26, 2020
I met Gordon when he first enrolled at the University of Miami and we remained close friends ever since. We spoke regularly and had a pleasant and long conversation last Friday and he seemed fine. So many fond memories of our many activities together. He possessed the finest and sharpest mind of anyone I ever met. The lives of a huge number of people were favorably affected and improved by this remarkable man. I will miss him more than words can describe. My deepest sympathy to all of his family.
David McDonald
May 26, 2020
I have a vivid memory of playing Fictionary with Linda and her dad when we were in high school, and he was a master! He would make up definitions that were so believable, and so inventive. I know he will be deeply missed by all who knew him. My deepest condolences to all his family.
Meg Whittle
Friend
May 26, 2020
Truly a unique and special man. He will be missed by many, most of all by his family. Thinking of you all and sending virtual hugs.
Emily E
Friend
May 26, 2020
We had the privilege of meeting Gordon a few times in which his dynamic and witty personality was truly endearing. Through the stories we have heard he obviously lived a remarkable life. Wishing our dear friend Linda and all the family peace during this time.
Love AT and JD
Anne Terrell Fenessy
Friend
May 26, 2020
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