December 3, 1931 – January 25, 2019
Joe Richard Williams was born in Cannon City, Colorado on December 3, 1931, to parents Veta Jeanette and Clyde Jackson Williams. Joe grew up in Cannon City and spent most of his time hunting and fishing in the surrounding mountains. This love of the outdoors lasted his entire life, and was a legacy he passed on to his children. Joe joined the Navy at 16 years old, with his parents’ assistance and consent, and spent four years serving his country during the Korean War.
Joe married his first wife Gloria Kathryn Miller on June 15, 1949 in Elko, Nevada while in the Navy and they had two children, Kathryn Louise and Jack Edward. He spent a brief period in the United States Merchant Marine after his honorable discharge from the Navy, which deepened his love of the ocean. After his service in the Merchant Marine, Joe returned to his family in Elko where he worked mainly in the casinos. Joe and Gloria left Elko after a couple of years to go back to Colorado, where Joe worked as a contract miner in several mines in the Leadville area, trying to make enough money to give his family a better life financially. After several years in the Leadville area, Joe and Gloria ended up back in Elko. During this time Joe’s love of the outdoors grew and he continued hunting and fishing in the Nevada Rockies with his father Jack, as well as his son, Jack.
Joe and Gloria moved to the Denver area, in 1962 to return to their beloved Colorado and to start new careers. Joe attended Barber College in Denver and worked as a barber for a brief time, but decided that this was not the career he sought. He was successful as a salesman in the office furniture business and ended up starting successful businesses, Desks Inc. and Electro-Coating Co. in Denver.
Joe and Gloria divorced in 1974 and Joe moved back to Elko, where he started Four Season’s Landscaping, Greenhouses and Floral Store.
In 1985 he married Frances Taylor in Elko. Joe and Fran were very happy together for nearly twenty years until Fran was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Joe dutifully cared for Fran in their home in Sunsites, Arizona until she passed away. He is survived by his daughter, Kathryn; son, Jack; sisters, Cheryl (Jack) Paul and Janice Marr.
After Fran passed away Joe won one battle with lung cancer while still in Arizona, but at the expense of losing one lung. He moved to the Texas gulf coast town of Port Mansfield where his breathing was much improved and he could continue to enjoy his love of the ocean and fishing. During this period he met Naomi Jorgenson and he lived out the rest of his life abundantly with this very special lady friend. Complications from a second battle with lung cancer claimed his life on January 25, 2019 in Brownsville, Texas.
Joe lived all of his life abundantly and enjoyed all of the best things given by God to us in this life on earth. He passed on this legacy to his children and also to some of the many friends he made during his life. He is now with Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.
A Celebration of Life will be held at Burns Funeral Home on May 31 at 10:00 am followed by a graveside service with Full Military Honors. A luncheon will follow at the VFW Hall.