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RIchard E. WILLIams

March 15, 1927- January 3, 2020
Thursday, January 30, 2020
RIchard E. WILLIams

Richard Williams passed away peacefully on January

3, 2020 at Pikes Peak Hospice. He was born and raised in Tonkawa, Oklahoma to Fred and Laura Williams. In high school, he lettered in football and basketball, sang in the boys quartette and was voted Outstanding Citizen of the Class of 1945—for which he continued to set a positive example throughout his life. He will always be remembered for his wonderful sense of humor, all the way to the end.

At age 18 in 1945, upon graduation from high school, Richard was immediately drafted into the army for basic training during WWII. He was taken out early from training and sent to a port of embarkation as part of a planned invasion of Japan, which didn’t happen given Japan’s surrender.

Richard attended Northern

Oklahoma Junior College,

Phillips University and graduated from the American School of Commercial Art in Dallas,

TX. He started working with the Dallas Times-Herald and then moved to Enid, Oklahoma to work for the Ford Advertising Agency. Next, he worked for the Wichita Eagle newspaper for three years. During this time, one of his photos was featured in Life Magazine from the blizzard of 1957, in which he was stranded on a train for three days in Kansas. He eventually moved to Colorado

Springs to be an animator for

Alexander Film Co. He worked with Chevrolet, 7-UP, Swift,

Pontiac, Philco and many other national accounts. Eventually, he was self-employed as a commercial artist for 16 years.

He then became the Art Director for Artists of the Rockies magazine. Next, he joined the

Civil Service in the Department of Defense as an illustrator at

Fort Carson. Finally, he joined the US Air Force Academy as an illustrator where he eventually retired. Many dignitaries around the world were given one of Richard’s original paintings upon their visit to the academy.

During his retirement, Richard stayed active. He was one of the eight original charter members of the Pikes Peak Watercolor Society and was also a long-time member of the Pikes Peak Plein Air Painters. In addition, he was a member of the Arati Artists Gallery for over 20 years. He was grateful to have a career in art and to fulfill his lifelong passion of painting. One of his fondest memories was his annual trip to New Mexico for the Taos Watercolor Workshop for over 25 years. Richard was also a long-time active member of First Presbyterian Church. Proud to be a veteran, he attended an Honor Flight to Washington D.C. for WWII veterans in 2015.

At age 91 as his health started to decline after his cancer diagnosis, Richard moved to Independent Living at the Inn at Garden Plaza where he literally started to flourish. He liked to comment, “If you have to leave your home, this is the place to be.”

Survivors include his son and wife, Fred and Vicki Williams; daughter and husband, Sondra and Dave Bourgault; granddaughters Gabrielle and Madeline Bourgault; beloved companion, Joanne Ivory, and former wife, Margaret Williams.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the Gary Sinise Foundation. Richard would be honored to provide support for those who have dedicated their lives to serving our country. The family would also like to thank Pikes Peak Hospice for their loving and compassionate care of Richard and his loved ones.

A Celebration of Life was held Friday, January 17, at 11:00 at First Presbyterian Church, 219 East Bijou Street, Colorado Springs, CO 80903 with a reception following..