Bill Russell Williams of Fairbanks passed away Wednesday July 14th, 2021 from injuries he received in an automobile accident on Chena Hot Springs Road Tuesday July 13th. He was born October 17th, 1941 in a small log cabin in Tiger, Georgia to Bonnie Stockton Williams and Elbert Nathan Williams.
Bill first came to Fairbanks in January 1965 freshly discharged from active duty in the US Navy to help an older brother in a gold mining adventure. He fell in love with Alaska and in Fall of 1965 he returned to his family in Florida and went to work at the Chemstrand Corporation nylon plant in Pensacola, Florida working as many double shifts as humanly possible to save enough money to move his family to Alaska. In June 1967, Bill, his wife Jean and children Jeannie and Kenneth left their home in Florida with their possessions packed in a 1965 Chevelle and a 38-foot Spartanette trailer towed by a 1960 International 1-ton flatbed truck on their way to Alaska by way of Charlotte, North Carolina where he was to attend heavy equipment operator school. He and his family arrived in Fairbanks two weeks before the 1967 flood.
Bill was pine knot tough and cuckleburr tenacious in all that he did. His working career consisted of farming, sawmilling, a very short stint of moonshining, crash crew firefighter, property assessor, heavy construction worker, gold mining and real estate developer. Bill’s first job in Fairbanks was working with the Fairbanks North Star Borough Assessor's Department helping to dry out property records damaged by the flood. He assessed many FNSB properties, worked on the Dew Line, trans-Alaska pipeline and at Clear Air Force Station. He was a FNSB and Laborers Local 942 retiree. Bill was a strong, gentle man that would go the extra 10 miles for anyone and never give it a second thought. Bill loved unconditionally and enjoyed a good prank and will be irreplaceably missed. Bill is preceded in death by daughter Jeannie, mother Bonnie Stockton Williams, father Elbert Nathan Williams, sisters Betty Jo McCravy, Francis and Mary Ellen Williams, Maulcy Ellen Stamey, brothers James, Frank and Jeff Williams, Herbert and Jay Stamey, nephews Thomas Nathan and Wayne Williams.
He is survived by son Nathan Lee Williams, grandchildren Meadow, Autumn, and Nathan Jr Williams, son Kenneth Thesing, ex-wife Hermie Jean Williams, grandsons Ricky Kacsur and Billy Hacker, brother Dan Williams, wife Donella, niece Jill Woods and her children Lani and Bailey, niece Robin Sigmon and her children Scout and Carson, sister Ruth Williams and her son Lee Childs and his children Avery and Lainy, brother Dover Williams, wife Angelia, niece Rebecca Johnson, husband Ben and their children Mirabel, Dawson and Wyatt, and niece Alisa Williams and Gary Riddle, nephew Glen McCravy, wife Susie and their children Margo and Megan, niece Sharon Storck, husband Bill and their children Catilyn and Spencer, nephew Claude Williams and wife Nancy and their family and niece Sandra Dewey, husband Larry and their family and nephew Buddy Williams and family.
Lately, Bill took great pleasure in assisting and encouraging his niece Alisa in creating her boreal garden. He was a hopeless romantic and enjoyed watching drama series especially Sea Change and many British shows. Earlier in the day of the accident Bill had been on the phone with his sister Ruth exclaiming how peaceful it was out where he had driven and how beautiful the fireweed blooms were. We have great confidence in stating that with Bill's almost 80 years of life and thousands of adventures, mistakes and pursuits, his request for everyone is contained in Matthew 6:33 “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness.”
Even Though Bill lived in Alaska, for more than 50 years Rabun County still ran in his Veins. He called it home. He always looked forward to visiting family and friends of his youth here and taking in the familiar sights, sounds, smells and taste. He was very much looking forward to being back home.
A service for Bill will be held at Joy Baptist Church, July 28th at 1:00 PM he will lie in state an hour prior to the service. Burial will follow in the Wolfcreek Baptist Church Cemetery.
Beck Funeral Home, in Clayton, Georgia, is in charge of the arrangements. If there are any questions, please call 706-782-9599. An online Memorial Register Book is available at www.beckfuneralhome.com.