Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Robert Harry Williams

| August 18, 2020 1:00 AM

Robert Harry Williams passed away on Aug. 5, 2010, in Coeur d’Alene. He was born in Emida, Idaho, on Dec. 12, 1928, to Charles Donald Williams and Edna Mae Griffith Williams. He grew up in the Emida and St. Maries area until his parents moved the family to the Spokane Valley (Wash.).

Bob graduated from Central Valley High in 1947 and then attended Washington State University. He enrolled in the ROTC program during college and upon graduation, he was enlisted full time. While in the Air Force, he was a 1st Lieutenant in charge of the motor transportation department in Itazuke, Japan. Bob received the Korean Service Metal and the U.N. Service Metal and was discharged May 24, 1955.

Bob continued with his education to become a teacher. He married Marian Dunn Spray in 1958, becoming a wonderful stepfather to Bobby and Randy Spray. Bob and Marian then had Chuck and Todd but later divorced. He continued teaching in several schools in Idaho. Early in his career, he taught in Emida and was principal, teacher and bus driver all wrapped into one. Bob found his sweet spot teaching in the Coeur d’Alene School District. When summers came, he worked as a police officer and often on his good friend, Fred Lewis’s, farm in Fairfield.

Bob met Helen Sandquist at Coeur d’Alene High School and loved to tell the story of how he asked her to be his secretary at an upcoming teachers conference. We all know the rest of that story. They fell in love and married in August of 1972 and spent the next 40 years on a great adventure; they shared the love of camping, fishing, traveling, gardening, dancing and grandchildren. Bob retired from teaching in 1987.

Bob and Helen loved to have family over and the highlight of the year was at the Williams Christmas Party, when Papa became Santa for the evening. It was a very elaborate affair and the grandchildren were delighted for many years to catch Santa in the act.

Bob invested in his grandchildren, making sure college was a priority. He believed education was a young person’s greatest asset because no one can take that away from you.

Bob is survived by his sister, Loretta Miller, and many nieces and nephews; sons, Charles Williams and granddaughter, Brandi; Todd Williams and wife, Gianne, and grandsons, Dustin and Cody; Bob Spray and wife, Mary, and grandchildren, Melody, Michael and Josh; Randy Spray and wife, Sandy, and grandson, Jacob. He is preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Helen; brothers Roy, Donald and Dean Williams, and sister, Doris Higgins.

A funeral service will be held at 1 p.m. Friday. Aug. 21, 2020, at Hodge Funeral Home, 138 S. Eighth St., St. Maries, Idaho. Viewing will be one hour prior to the service. Graveside committal with military honors will follow services at Woodlawn Cemetery in St. Maries.