Family and friends will gather July 15th to remember Gerald “Jerry” Williams, whose life included 54 years of “pirating.” Here’s the remembrance they’re sharing with his community:
Gerald “Jerry” Lawrence Williams passed away on June 26, 2022 from pneumonia in Manson, WA on a family vacation with his loving wife Susan at his side.
Gerald was born March 25, 1938 in Yakima to John and Alice Williams and raised in Lake City with his brother Wayne and his sister Sharon. Jerry served in the US Navy for two years stationed at San Diego. He served on the USS Hornet aircraft carrier that deployed to Asia and received an honorable discharge. Perhaps that’s when Jerry learned his love of travel and discovery of new places.
Jerry worked in the food-distribution business for his entire career, starting off with his own business, “Jerry’s Frozen Foods.” He took pride in making his customers satisfied and he developed lifelong friendships with his customers and peers. Jerry worked at Keener Foods for many years and also Sysco. Jerry was an avid Teamster and a shop steward at some of the businesses he worked. One of Jerry’s later business ventures was his “Express Catering” food truck. Jerry served as a mentor to many in the business, including his son Jim.
Jerry loved to go camping whether it was a tent, a trailer, or motorhome. Jerry’s family has many wonderful memories of camping trips all over the Pacific Northwest growing up. Boating on the Puget Sound was another favorite activity of Jerry and Sue.
Jerry had a huge smile that brightened every place he went. He had a great sense of humor, many jokes and quick wit always ready. Although his body was hampered by Parkinson’s in his later years, his mind stayed active and his humor mischievous until his last day.
Jerry enjoyed being a Seattle Seafair Pirate from 1968 to the end of his well-lived life. He loved to dress up in costume and jewelry and storm Alki for the Landing and participate in community parades alongside his best friend Pat Patterson. He served as Captain Kidd 1980-81 and Davy Jones, among other positions in his 54 years pirating. His most cherished role for the Seafair Pirates was as Chaplain for many years, where he was able to offer support, promote goodwill, and offer prayers for his brethren and their families.
Jerry was married to the love of his life Susan in 1982 on the schooner Sylvia in Lake Washington with their 5 children, first grandchild and other family present. Jerry and Sue were handcuffed together to make sure that she was not kidnapped by the Seafair Pirates who attended the reception. The memorable honeymoon included four of the kids in a motorhome on a two-week trip around Washington state. Jerry and Susan loved each other so much, they were remarried in the Cayman Islands in a pirate wedding ceremony filmed by the Travel Channel.
Jerry and Susan both love to travel and were able to take Alaska and tropical cruises, trips to Norway as well as annual trips to Mexico. Jerry also made annual trips to the Cayman Islands with the Seafair Pirates for Pirates week.
Jerry was asked to perform many blessings and wedding ceremonies including those of his daughters Lori to Mike and Shelly to Chas and his granddaughter Carrie to Mike.
Jerry and Susan were faithful members of Westside Presbyterian Church. He served on two missions to Romania and one to New Orleans after Hurricane Rita.
His heart for the homeless was legendary. He organized and delivered supplies and offered prayers at the encampments with friends. He was involved in the CitiTeam Men’s shelter organizing groups to help cook and serve.
Jerry was preceded in passing by his parents, brother Wayne, and daughter Debbie. Jerry is survived by his wife Susan, children Lori (Mike) Lesieur, Shelly (Chas) Arch, Jeff (Susan) Bowe and Jim (Lisa) Bowe. Grandchildren, Carrie, Josh, Russell, Taylor, Mikey, Hanna, William, Trilby and Alexus, Jaren, Liam and Weston. Great-grandchildren Lilya, Sofia, Christian, and Colt.
A memorial service will be held at Westside Presbyterian Church at 1 pm Friday, July 15, 2022. Jerry will be interred at Tahoma National Cemetery in Covington at a future date.
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