George Emery Williams
February 22, 1924 – July 26, 2020
George Williams, 96, was born to Ora and Ruby Williams in Lexington, Maine, on February 22, 1924. He grew up with his mother on a farm in Maine going to school there through 8th grade and then joining his father in Boston to go to high school. In 1943, at the age of 19, George was drafted into the Army to participate in World War II. The Air Force was then part of the Army and he was able to join the Air Corps. George underwent his basic training in Miami Beach and was eventually sent to Pueblo for crew training at the Pueblo Air Base. In Pueblo, he met his future wife, Maree Burnham, at the skating rink on Northern Avenue. He approached her on a dare by other Air Force trainees and they skated together. In July 1944, George entered active duty in Attlebridge, England flying 30 combat missions. George flew exclusively on B-24 “Liberators,” which led to his life-long interest in those airplanes. In December 1944, George was an active participant in the “Battle of the Bulge,” flying three missions on three days in a row, an exceptional occurrence for any flight team. At the conclusion of his service, the Air Force recognized George with an Air Medal and four oak leaf clusters. George returned to the United States in February 1945, spending his 21st birthday on the ship coming home. He landed in Boston and on March 22 married Maree Burnham there. After he was discharged, George started as an apprentice at the CF&I for $1.09 an hour. George was always a proud union member, even during the 6-month strike in the mid-1960’s when he supported his family by working as a house painter. Working at the CF&I turned out to be a great choice as he continued to work there for 42 years, retiring in 1989 at the age of 65. George and Maree have two children, Anna (who died in 2016) and Howard. Maree died in 2008. George and Maree were happily married for 63 years. George became an active member of the Pueblo First Seventh-Day Adventist Church not long after marrying Maree. He is also a supporting member of the Pueblo Weisbrod Air Museum, a special museum for the B-24 planes that he flew during the war. George was a very kind and exceptionally loving man, who will be missed by all. A graveside funeral will take place on Tuesday, Aug 4.
Tuesday, August 4, 2020
George Emery Williams
August 6, 2020
George Williams was a man of character with broad interests and many practical skills. He was devoted to his family and devoted years of service to the youth groups to which his children were members. He was always willing to take the time to make sure things were done right.
When visiting George at home, it seemed like he always had some new practical or craft object that he had made. He clearly enjoyed and took pride in creating things with his hands.
When Howard was a Boy Scout, George was Assistant Scout Master and my father, Preston, was the Scout Master for Troop 2 (1964-1973).
George taught outdoor and camping skills. I particularly remember his lessons on axes. He was a patient, yet firm teacher who made sure we knew how to work safely.
When we had our joint Cub and Boy Scout winter swimming lessons, George could be found at the shallow end working with the beginner boys, some of whom were mentally retarded. His patience and even temper were a great help in introducing the boys into their first experience with water.
Our annual winter camp at Lake Isabel with as many as 20 boys together with George and Preston slept in wall tents pitched end-to-end with stoves at each end which were to burn all night. When a scout fell asleep on his fire-tending watch, George or Preston woke up, got the stove fires going again, and restarted the watches.
George and Preston led us on many trips, including the week-long 65-mile trip in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. They trekked with us every step of the way and with the heaviest packs. Their thoughtful planning and their hands-on lessons to the scouts about preparations made it a success.
In my most cherished photograph of George, he is shaking my hand on the evening I received my Eagle Scout. He is beaming with just as much pride as my father. But I think my award is also a tribute to his many years of hard and earnest work with many of the scouts, including to my great fortune, myself.
Ron and Dorothy Buksar
August 4, 2020
We both loved talking with George and appreciated his sense of humor. He will be missed.
August 2, 2020
I am sorry for your loss.