Bill Ray Williams

November 24, 1930 ~ December 11, 2021 (age 91)


Bill was born in Neligh, Nebraska, the 2nd child, of Ray and Esther Williams. His siblings were Donna, Buddy, Jim, Inez, Robert and half-brother Cecil. The family moved to Detroit Lakes, Minnesota and worked hard on the farm until Bill decided to serve his country by enlisting in the U.S. Navy. While serving in the Navy he met the love of his life Betty, she was also serving in the U.S. Navy. After 3 very nice dates, he and Betty couldn't decide what to do on their next date, so they decided to get married.

They spent the next 67 years creating a beautiful life together; working hard, and doing the things they loved including traveling, raising 2 daughters, volunteering, and making special friends and touching many lives along the way.

Bill's career as a firefighter began with the Signal Hill Fire Department. He realized that this was his passion, which was no surprise to those that knew him. His kindness, sense of fairness, empathy, and dedication to the community served him well over his 32 years. Serving Signal Hill, Fountain Valley, Big Bear Lake (all in California), and finally Pierce County, Washington where he retired as "Chief Bill" in 1995.

After retirement Bill and Betty became golfers, continued their travels, and volunteer work. Volunteering for Habitat for Humanity and animal rescue organizations, including sitting on the board of the Humane Society in Redmond, Oregon. He was a dedicated family man, strong and gentle. Bill seemed to know how to balance many emotions, kindness, leadership, giving gentle nudges for direction and care with a heartfelt commitment to all.

Bill is survived by the love of his life Betty, daughters Kathleen (James), and Carol. Sister Inez (Joe), brother's Bud, and Robert (La Rae), one grandchild, several nieces and nephews, and his lovable cat Oliver. He will be missed and remembered by his family, friends, and those who loved him For those inspired to honor Bill's memory, the family suggests making a donation, in his name, by following the link below, to St. Jude's, which was one of Bill's many favorite charities: St. Jude's








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