November 8, 1953 - December 12, 2017
Service Date: December 30, 2017
An informal celebration of life will be hosted from 1-4 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 30 at the home he and his wife shared at 14809 6300 Road, Montrose, CO 81403. In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that gifts be given to the Gayle Clarke Memorial Scholarship Fund at Alpine Bank in Montrose.
Roger Joe Williams, 64, passed away peacefully on Dec. 12, 2017 after a very brief but valiant fight against Stage 4 brain cancer. More importantly than the way he died is the way that he lived. Which is to say, he lived every day to the fullest for his wife, Cathy, and his cherished grandsons, Hayden and Kamden.
Born in Lansing, Michigan, on Nov. 8, 1953 to Joseph and Donna Williams, née Barber. Roger was a graduate of Lansing Eastern High and then served in the Marine Corp as a draftsman, where he received the National Defense Service Medal. He lived in Sedona, Arizona, with his precious sister, Joni Williams, for a time following his service, finally settling in Colorado in 1979. Roger met his beloved wife Cathy Williams, née Clarke, in July of 1986. They began dating in July of 1987, and were married on June 18, 1998. They were very fortunate to go on many vacations, especially to exotic tropical locations, as Roger loved the ocean. Roger doted on his wife every chance that he got. Cathy and their friends remember how he would often celebrate her birthday week instead of just the day, leaving her a new gift to wake up to every morning, which usually led to something spectacular on the day of.
Roger had a serious passion for the outdoors, citing the desert as his church. He had a high regard for nature, and respect for the natural world. He enjoyed sitting by the campfire on a cool night, marveling at the star-filled skies, pointing out constellations and planets following a day spent under the hot sun that he loved so much. Roger hiked and explored 103 canyons over the years with his friend and sister, Joni, his brother-in-law, Robert, his wife, Cathy, and his grandson, Hayden. One of his favorite ways to pass the time on a hot desert trail was to compete for the “best rock of the day”; searching for the most interesting geological find was educational and exciting. He would bring home interesting things, and collected rocks from each of his excursions, which were often extremely rare. He found a passion in passing on his love and knowledge of nature, fishing, camping and geology to his grandsons, taking them to the mountains every chance he got. He spent many hours with them on the water as well, whether it be at the local swimming pools, rafting on the river, or paddle boarding and canoeing on the lakes. He showed them the beauty of nature and taught his grandsons the history of our valley through their excursions into the desert and their climbs to some of the tallest mountains.
Roger was co-owner of Sun Basin Builders for over 30 years with partner Mike Chapple until Mike’s retirement in 2012. Roger and Mike built many beautiful homes. They will stand as a testament to Roger’s life’s work forever in the Montrose community. Roger continued on with Sun Basin Builders until 2016 at which time he had the good fortune to go to work for TEI Rock Drills. The TEI family of employees showered Roger with love, care, compassion and friendship during the year he had the privilege to work there. Dave and Sue Frank, “you rock!”
He was the epitome of generosity, kindness and compassion. He loved animals (especially his dogs), volunteering (Habitat for Humanity, Montrose Democrats, delivering meals for the community Thanksgiving Dinner — and then enjoying six or seven pieces of pie— and for anyone else in need), and caring for his family. He coached youth soccer with his stepson, Cole, for many seasons. He also sponsored and coached youth t-ball and baseball with his business partner and best friend, Mike Chapple. He loved coaching and being a good role model for the kids on his teams. This kind and wonderful man left us way too soon. He gave so much, but always had much more to give.
Considered by many as one of the good guys, Roger was always willing to lend a helping hand. His generosity and adventurous ways touched so many, and will live on in the lives of those he loved so dearly. Roger’s love of canyoneering, rock repelling and hiking was best represented by his life philosophy of “we all go in, we all come out.”
Roger was preceded in death by his father, Joseph Williams in 2001 in Lansing, Michigan; and his mother, Donna Williams in 2009, in Montrose, Colorado. He is survived by his treasured wife Cathy Williams; stepson Cole Fresques and partner Skye Reid of Montrose, Colorado; cherished sister Joni Williams-Karp and brother-in-law Robert Karp of Grand Junction, Colorado; and two grandsons, Hayden Fresques-Reid and Kamden Fresques-Reid, also of Montrose, Colorado. He was also survived by the many extended family members that he loved very much and the dear friends that he considered family.
An informal celebration of life will be hosted from 1-4 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 30 at the home he and his wife shared at 14809 6300 Road, Montrose, CO 81403. In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that gifts be given to the Gayle Clarke Memorial Scholarship Fund at Alpine Bank in Montrose. Cremation arrangements are under the care of Crippin Funeral Home.
A heartfelt thank you to all the nurses, doctors, and staff of Hope West Hospice, Dr. Brezinksy and Dr. Oldroyd for their generous and loving care.