In Memoriam: Wayne Williams

We are saddened to report that longtime SABR member Wayne Williams died on Sunday, May 18, 2014, at his home in Denver, Colorado. Williams was a member of SABR since 2003, an original Colorado Rockies season-ticket holder, and active in the Rocky Mountain Chapter along with the Biographical Research and Pictorial History committees. He had battled non-Hodgkins lymphoma for more than 14 years, in the care of the Anschutz Cancer Center.

Cecil Wayne Williams was born June 10, 1935, in Lawrence, Kansas, to Cecil E. and Myrtle Williams, and was raised chiefly in Marysville, Kansas, by his grandmother, Verna May Dodson, who was the long-time manager of the country club. It was there he taught himself to play golf, a passion he enjoyed throughout his life, both as a player and a fan. His name is on the golf championship plaques at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Hickam AFB, Army-Navy Country Club, and Pole Creek Golf Course, among others.

He married Martha “Marty” Ellen Ormsby Williams in Las Vegas, Nevada, on August 2, 1960, and loved to re-tell the story of their elopement, which was considered quite risqué in those days. He served in the U.S. Air Force from 1960 to 1981, retiring as Chief of Civil Litigation. His Judge Advocate duties took him to Hawaii and Bitburg, Germany, as well as many years in Washington, D.C. He went on to enjoy a law practice for 10 years in Fraser, Colorado, before serving as the County Court Judge for Grand County for 10 years.

For the past 11 years he served as a Senior Judge, filling in for judges around the state. During those years he perfected his other athletic love, sliding down the trails at Winter Park ski area, and cross country trekking on area trails and his own trails in the meadow east of Tabernash. He was an original Rockies season ticket holder, proud of his low priority number, and ever hopeful he would see another World Series in Denver some day. He was a graduate of Marysville High School, Emporia State (now Kansas State University of Emporia), and held a Law degree from the University of Kansas, a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Hawaii, and a Master of Laws degree from the George Washington University.

He was a lifetime scholar and often used the courtroom to teach a bit of American history. He is survived by his wife Martha “Marty,” his daughter Allison May Williams and her husband Kevin Ray Burke, of Bellingham, Washington, their daughters Mavia Rose Burke and Lucilena Day Williams, and her soon-to-be-husband Andrew Pownall Jones, son Daniel Wayne Williams of Shelbyville, Tennessee, and son David Ormsby Williams and his wife Kristin Kenney Williams, of Vail, Colorado, and their sons Nicholas David, Maximilian Robert and Rennick Cecil. In addition, he is survived by the Great Dog Emily.

A celebration of his life is planned for mid-summer in the Fraser Valley, where he lived for 30 years. Memorial donations may be made to J. Frederic Kolhouse, MD Cancer Research Fund at Colorado University Health Sciences Center or the Denver Hospice.

Originally published: May 27, 2014. Last Updated: May 27, 2014.