Passing of George Williams

George Andrew Williams, 81, long-time resident of Fort Bragg, California, passed away on Sept. 9, 2019, at his home surrounded by family after an arduous battle with lung disease.
George was born in Williams, California, on Nov. 13, 1937, to Robert and Dorothy (Pearson) Williams. His family moved to Woodland, California, in 1945, where he attended Dingle Elementary School and Woodland High School. He graduated from Woodland High School in 1955.
He then worked a short time for his father prior to enlisting in the Navy. George served on the USS Lexington (CV-16) aircraft carrier until 1958. His favorite memory was of the time he and his brother, Robert (Bob), who was in the Army, were going to have leave around the same time (although George wasn’t sure what day Bobby would be in) in Okinawa, Japan. Dad was told to sit by a certain entrance and eventually the Army guys would walk through the gate. George sat there for a day and a half until his brother walked in. They were able to spend their time together in Japan touring.
After his service, George returned to Cohassett and worked for his father’s sheep business. In 1960, George began his life-long career with the California Division of Forestry. He started out as a firefighter in Oroville, California, and attended night school at Butte College, taking fire and police sciences. He then advanced to equipment operator, which was one of his favorite positions as he “loved the challenge and enjoyed working with big equipment.”
In May of 1962, he married the love of his life, best friend and life partner of 57 years, Margaret (Peggy) Waters. Together they raised two daughters, Marcie and Kathy.
In 1973, George and his family moved to Yreka, California, where he was promoted to the position of fire prevention officer (FPO-1) with Siskiyou Ranger Unit. He also began working towards his bachelor’s degree from Humboldt State University via satellite classes at that time. As FPO-1, George was responsible for fire prevention education, law enforcement and investigation related to arson, and interacting with public and civic service organizations and local schools surrounding fire prevention education. He was known for his consistent work ethic and his unrelenting pursuit of arsonists. Dick Miralles was quoted to say, “George was one of the best fire prevention officers I’ve worked with.”
His legacy in Yreka, related to his work, is the CDF Gazebo in the center of the Siskiyou County Golden Fairgrounds. The gazebo provided live broadcasting by the local radio station during the fair and an educational platform for CDF and USFS, including Smokey Bear visits and children’s programs. The gazebo also provided a shaded sitting area for those warm fair days.
In 1978, George transferred to the Mendocino Ranger Unit in Fort Bragg, California, and was promoted to division chief at the end of his career, retiring in 1991.
George was a member of Lions Club International, ToastMasters International, Little River Golf Course Men’s Club and the CDF Wagon Train. He volunteered as the Yreka High School Ski Club bus driver, driving kids to and from Mt. Ashland on the weekends for four seasons.
George loved the outdoors and many of his memories were of hunting with his family and friends (so many stories): deep sea fishing in Crescent City; family ski trips to Tahoe and Bend; and golfing in Hawaii, Mexico, Arizona, Utah, Oregon and Pebble Beach, where he met Arnold Palmer and got his autograph.
George adored his grandchildren and great-grand-children and his playful personality always came out when they were with him. He was a mentor, a friend, and a supportive and encouraging husband, father and grandfather.
He will be deeply missed but will remain in our hearts until we meet again.
George is survived by his wife, Peggy; daughters, Marcie Frank, Kathy (Tom) Keehn; sister, Nancy; grandchildren, Justin and Jorden Miller, Kendle Frank, Candace Jones (Kurtis Ford), Kahla (Derick) Wallace; great-grandchildren, Avery Wallace, Khloe ,Jasper, James and Madeline Ford; and several cousins, nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his father, Robert; mother, Dorothy; and brother, Robert.
Heartfelt thanks go to the wonderful care given by Dr. Kreger and all his nurses who visited him and supported the family from Mendocino Coast District Hospital Hospice and Home Health, with a special thank you to Terri and Hannah.
Per George’s wishes, there will be no services. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to hospice through Mendocino Coast Home Health at 700 River Drive, Fort Bragg, CA 95437.

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