Gerald O'Neil Williams


Posted: Sunday, July 15, 2001

Gerald O'Neil Williams died July 11, 2001.

He was born in Seattle and remained there until he graduated from the University of Washington. In 1953, Williams moved to Alaska and joined the territorial police. Through most of the next decade he served as territorial and state police administrative officer and Anchorage detachment commander. From 1963 to 1966 he was assigned to Africa as a U.S. Department of State representative and police advisor where he supervised police training, internal security and refugee relief. As a trooper training officer, Williams was instrumental in establishing the Academy in Sitka and was the academy's first commander. After graduating from Willamette University in 1972 with a law degree, he returned to Juneau and worked as an assistant attorney general until his appointment as a Juneau district judge and U.S. magistrate from 1975 to 1984. It was then that Williams retired and returned to Oregon where he obtained a masters degree in history from the University of Oregon. In 1987, he returned to Palmer to teach history and law in the University of Alaska system. Williams returned to Oregon in 1992 and resided there until his death.

His wife Betty shared his enthusiasm for traveling, animals, and family and friends. He also shared his love of reading and learning with his grandchildren.

He is survived by his wife Betty; daughter Melody Cooper and her husband Allen of Palmer; stepdaughter Toni Kaufman and her husband Gordon of Colorado; and four grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Humane Society Shelter, Box 13005, Salem, OR 97309.

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