In Memory of




Obituary for James Thomas Williams

James Thomas (Jim) Williams, 88, passed away of cardiac complications December 27, 2023, in Salem, OR.

He is survived by his wife Linda, sons Jim (Julie) and John (Amy), stepdaughters Judy (Austin) Peden, Tina (Gary) Trenholm, Heather (Chris Danne) Robertson, niece Heidi (Thomas) Henniger, nephew Darren (Amelia) Gaspary, and 8 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren.

Jim was born June 30, 1935, in Aliquippa, PA to James and Marguerite (Kiess) Williams. He grew up in Pennsylvania and upstate New York, graduating from high school in Vestal, NY, and Syracuse University with a degree in Pulp and Paper Technology. He had a very successful career in the paper manufacturing industry, mostly with Boise Cascade at seven western and midwestern mills. His last position was Mill Manager at the Wallula Paper Mill.

Together with his previous wife Jean (Payne), they raised three sons as they lived and moved around the country. Most memorable was the time spent in International Falls, MN and across the border in Ft. Francis, Ontario as well as Wallula, WA.

Jim was an ardent hunter, fisherman, photographer, and traveler. He had an uncanny ability to anticipate what deer, elk, salmon, walleyes, and crappies would do before they did. The animated chats around the annual Idaho hunt campfire were full of stories of the past and concocted plans for the next day.

A voracious tinkerer in retirement, Jim woke up each morning with a design or improvement project to tackle. He was a patient teacher, always willing to help others with their projects, especially if skills were learned along the way. Jim thrived on robust, predictable solutions, yet easily adapted as conditions changed.

Jim loved to travel. Together with his wife, Linda, he traveled across the United States and through western Canada to Alaska in their motorhome. For 13 years he was a “snowbird” traveling to their home in North Ranch, AZ for the winter and Washington or Oregon in the Summer. His favorite trip was to Tanzania, Africa in 2019. There he photographed hundreds of animals while on a safari in the Serengeti. He also cruised to New Zealand, Australia, around the southern tip of South America, several destinations in the Caribbean, through the Panama Canal, Iceland to London, River Cruise from Budapest to Amsterdam, Alaska, Hawaii and Baja Mexico.

He is preceded in death by his parents, sisters Donna and Margaret (Gerald) Gaspary, son Jeffrey, niece Heather (Gaspary) Olson, and grandchildren Valerie Williams and Matthew Emigh.

A celebration of life is planned for 11:00 AM on Saturday, February 3, 2024, at Bollman’s Tribute Center, 287 SW Washington St., Dallas OR.