Gary Leon Williamson
June 1, 1943 – April 23, 2021
On April 23, 2021, Gary Leon Williamson – world traveler, creative writer, ARMY Command Sergeant Major, husband, father and grandfather, passed away at the age of 77.
Gary was born on June 1, 1943 in Monroe, Michigan to Douglas and Zona Williamson. He was the youngest of five children. In 1961, he enlisted in the United States Army and devoted himself to serving his country for the next 23 years. During his military career, Gary served two tours in Vietnam and worked with the Turkish government and NATO. Gary reached the zenith of his career as Command Sergeant Major of Fort Polk. To try and keep him in service, the ARMY offered him any posting he would like in the world, but Gary chose to retire to Arizona to raise his five children.
Throughout his life, Gary witnessed some of the most important moments in history with one of the greatest being the election of Barack Obama as president of the United States. As the numbers came in the night of November 4, 2008, Gary said with a smile on his face, “I can’t believe I lived long enough to see a black man become president.” It was a momentous event for our country and for Gary, who for the entirety of his life believed in equality for all people. Unfortunately, he did not live long enough to see his other big wish: a woman elected president. A love for his country as a place of freedom and justice for all people regardless of color, religion, and gender lives on in his children.
Gary is survived by his wife of 52 years, Bubpha, who devoted her love and time to caring for Gary throughout his illness. He is also survived by his five children, Eddie, Doug, Malee, Jennifer and Victoria. He was the loving grandfather to 11 grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren.
Gary will be laid to rest at the National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona following a private ceremony honoring Gary’s service to our country.
In honor of Gary’s memory, in lieu of flowers, the family would like you to consider donating to the Arizona Veterans’ Donation fund, the Alzheimer’s Association or Infinity Hospice (www. infinityhospicecare.com)
Thursday, May 6, 2021