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Richard's Story

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Richard James Williams, 90, of Huntsville, Texas passed away peacefully the afternoon of December 12, 2017 after a long and happy life that was filled with love and laughter. Richard was born on August 12, 1927 in Highland Park, Michigan. He later spent most of his early years in Port Huron, Michigan where he attended high school and sailed his handcrafted sailboat on Lake Huron. As a young boy his father taught him to box and soon he earned the title of Golden Gloves Champ for the Region of Port Huron, Michigan. In 1944 he eagerly joined the military becoming an Army Paratrooper in the 11th Airborne, 188th Division, 2nd Battalion, Machine Gun Platoon, serving time in Japan.
After serving his country, Richard attended college at Michigan State University. He later met his beloved Ardith to whom he was married and devoted to for 67 years. She remained the love of his life. They later relocated to the Houston area where he worked and raised a family. The second half of his working life was spent at Union Tank Car in Cleveland, Texas where friendships were formed and good times shared. Upon retirement, he moved to be closer to family and Huntsville, Texas became his home.
Richard was known for his amazing storytelling. His children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren spent many hours listening to "Bapa's" unforgettable adventures. He had a unique ability to remember the name and association of every person he ever met. "Bapa Cookies" always filled the cookie jars and small hands eagerly reach for them. Humor and family were always a large part of his life, one well lived, a legacy.
Richard is survived by his children James I. Williams and wife Cathy, Pamela L. Hainline and husband Paul, his grandchildren Robert S. Bailey and wife Jamie, Daniel J. Bailey and wife Tiffany, Christina L. Chapman and husband Ryan, and Brent J. Williams. In addition he is survived by numerous great-grandchildren all of whom brought him great joy. He was preceded in death by his beloved wife Ardith, parents Wilfred and Hortense Williams, sisters Mary Jane, Peggy and his brother Bill.
Relatives and friends are invited to attend a celebration of his life on Saturday, December 16, 2017 at Sam Houston Memorial Funeral Home in Huntsville with visitation at 10:00 AM and services at 11:00 AM.
Full obituary may be viewed and memorial condolences made to the family at www.shmfh.com.
Published on December 15, 2017
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