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James Williams

Obituary of James Williams

Jim Williams passed away suddenly at his home near Tabernash, CO on Thursday, June 30, 2011. Jim was born in Bartlesville, OK on January 28, 1929. He was the only child of Leonard and Melba Williams. After graduating from Classen High School in Oklahoma City he went to Oklahoma State University where he completed a Mechanical Engineering degree. In 1950, he enlisted in the US Army and was based in Colorado where he developed a life long love of the Rocky Mountain High Country.

While serving in an Engineering Unit, as one of the only degreed engineers, he rapidly rose to the rank of Master Sergeant. Believing he was headed to the conflict in Korea, he boarded a troop ship. His unit was unloaded in Japan where they served in the army of occupation at Sugamo Prison. While there, he helped dismantle and destroy the materials of the gallows where high ranking Japanese war criminals had been executed. He returned to Oklahoma in 1952 and married Helen Maxine Bontly, who had waited for him there.

He also returned to his job at Oklahoma Natural Gas Company as an engineer trainee. Over a 36 year career with the gas distribution company, he rose to the position of Vice President of Technical Support. Many of his closest friends were employees reporting to him, indicating what kind of boss he was.

The Williams are the parents of two daughters who also graduated from Oklahoma State. Barbara Williams stayed in Oklahoma, working for an interstate gas pipeline until 2000 when she moved to KS and retired last year. She was with her parents at the time of Jim's death. Beverly moved to CO after graduation and married Dan Ferguson. They have raised two daughters, Lindsay and Stefanie and live in Broomfield where Bev is the Director of Finance at BalSwan Children's Center.

After his early retirement in 1986, Jim and Helen came to Grand County and built their retirement home near Tabernash. Jim, a long time Rotarian, helped form the Granby Rotary Club. They were active in their church and served on the board of Grand County Community concerts. For years they enjoyed skiing and hiking in the back country. They have many wonderful friends in Grand County.

Jim got his wish to live for the rest of his life in the mountains. He is survived by his wife Helen, daughters Barbara Williams, Beverly Ferguson, her husband, Dan Ferguson and their daughters Lindsay and Stefanie.

The family asks that instead of flowers, donations be made to BalSwan Children's Center, 1145 E. 13th Street, Broomfield, Colorado 80020 or to Oklahoma State University Foundation, L B Williams Scholarship, 26-75600, 400 S. Monroe, Stillwater, OK 74075, Attn: Sandi Bliss.

Wishes can be sent to the family at grandcountymortuary.com. A celebration of Jim's life will be held at the Church of the Eternal Hills in Tabernash at 1:00 PM on Saturday, July 9 with reception to follow in the fellowship hall. The Williams Family hopes that all of Jim's friends will join them at this season's final concert of the Grand County Community Concert Series on Sunday July 10. Jim loved the Denver Brass and we are certain that he will be joining us in spirit for this concert.

Service Details

Saturday, July 9th, 2011 1:00pm, Church of the Eternal Hills

To plant memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of James Williams, please visit our flower store.


I don't know if anyone is still looking at this website for my Dad, but in case someone is, I wanted to tell the story of this beautiful Blue Spruce tree. Our friends Mark and Jodi Mossoni brought it up when they came to Dad's Memorial Service and had it planted in the front yard with the sign of Dad's name and dates beside it when we got home from church. It looks great! Thanks to all who have sent cards, donations, memories or prayers and kind thoughts our way. And special thanks to Mark and Jodi for the tree!

Barbara Aug 21 2011 12:00 AM

Dear Helen, Barbara and Beverly, I just wanted you to know that we are all thinking of you and praying for your family. Mother sends her love and is wanting you to know Helen how much she thinks of you as always. We are hoping you have had many friends around you and wish we could be there in person to give our hugs as well. Our love to you all, Katie

Kathryn Lynn Dains Fellows Jul 11 2011 12:00 AM

Dear friend Helen, You and your family are so very present in our thoughts and prayers today. Blessings and love. Don and Sally Hicks

Sally S. Hicks Jul 9 2011 12:00 AM

Our prayers are with you all.

Annette & Mike Bernard Jul 8 2011 12:00 AM

Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this time of loss and sorrow.

Judy & Hugh Long Jul 8 2011 12:00 AM

Jim and Helen were the first people we met before my family moved to Grand County. We met him at Rotary before we bought our house. We were extremely fortunate to find that the house we bought was in grand county terms "next door". Jim and Helen have been such wonderful neighbors. Jim was a real dog lover and enjoyed our employee's dogs as well as the various Danes that we have had. Jim and Helen consoled me through the loss of my two past dogs, and I will always remember that they were here for me. Jim will be sorely missed.

Nancy Gold Jul 7 2011 12:00 AM

Dear Helen, Barbara, Bev & Dan, Lindsay and Stefanie, My heart goes out to all of you. Jim was a very special fellow, and I know you don't need me to tell you that, but suffice to say that I also knew it, and he will be greatly missed! I am happy for him, as I know he was a happy man, and that is a great gift to all that knew him. I tried to make arrangements to come to the memorial, but I'm afraid I'm not going to be able to make it after all. However, I think of you all often, and will be with all of you in spirit Saturday. With great sadness for your loss and deep affection for the whole family, Cyd

Cyd Anglin Jul 7 2011 12:00 AM

A long time ago when our kids were little we lived across the street from each other in Muskogee, Ok. and one night my husband was gone and I heard a noise in my back yard and called Helen. She sent Jim over to investigate and as he came around the corner of my house I looked out the window and SCREAMED and scared us both. Jim's girls ask where daddy was going in his pajamas. It was one of many funny times we had on that street.

Dolores Lehman Jul 5 2011 12:00 AM

Aunt Helen, Barbara and Beverly, I am so, so sad to hear of Uncle Jim's passing. Our prayers are with all of you in this difficult time. I have such sweet memories of Uncle Jim and over the last couple of days have recalled memories of such wonderful fun times with our families as we were growing up. Of course all the great lake trips we had and Uncle Jim driving the boat for hours on end so we could ski until our hearts content, but also fun weekends at your house or the O'Hallorans with everyone gathered together. I am so very thankful that we were all together last year in Atlanta. Your family is precious to us and we are grieving with you. Love you, Susan and Bob

Susan Thayer McKinney Jul 5 2011 12:00 AM