John (Jay) Clifford Williams, 70, our beloved father, passed away peacefully in his sleep on Wednesday, May 26, 2021, in Santa Rosa, Calif.
He was born November 22, 1950, in Kansas City, Mo., the son of Erma and John Williams, Sr. Affectionately known as Jay, he accepted Christ at a young age at Paseo Baptist Church. He graduated from De La Salle High School and continued his education at Benedictine College, Atchison, Kan., where he attended on a full basketball scholarship. Locally known for his athletic prowess, Jay was a decorated all-state high school athlete and all-star basketball player heavily recruited by colleges throughout the country. His dream of playing basketball in the NBA was cut short by a knee injury sustained during a Boston Celtics tryout.
He was blessed with daughters whom he loved dearly; he was extremely proud of them all. He married Margaret Brossette in February of 1982 in Houston, Texas. They were blessed with one daughter, Nicole Michelle (Williams) King, born in Houston, Texas. He also was blessed with a second daughter, Lauren Elizabeth Williams, through his long relationship with Janine Denson. Lauren was born in Kansas City, Mo. Nicole and Lauren were the loves of his life whom he considered his greatest accomplishments. Later Jay relocated to Gresham, Ore., where he met Christie Duncan, his domestic partner, whom he cherished and developed loving relationships with her daughters, Caytie and Lindsey Duncan, who called him their, “Jdad”.
A great encourager, his empathy for others marked his entire life--in work and sports and especially in his doting on his mother with whom he had a deeply close bond. Jay adored celebrating and supporting his family, spending time with loved ones near and far and grandfathering his two grandchildren, Zara and Anthony, Jr. (AJ). He was always there for us all.
Jay never met a stranger he didn’t like and was known by all for his warmth and kindness. Everyone who met Jay wanted to become his best friend, savor his understanding and compassion and hear his exceptional stories about politics, a good book he had just read or about his favorite teams - the Portland Trailblazers and the University of Oregon Ducks football team. He epitomized fun and no one knew better how to keep a party going. When he wasn't zipping up the Oregon Coast, or sipping a warm drink at the Mt. Hood Timberline Lodge, Jay was planning an annual party during Portland’s Waterfront Blues Festival where family and friends watched fireworks on the Willamette River. We all were drawn by his lighthearted style which served his deep interest in knowing others. He was always willing to listen and used his great humor to comfort people and entertain in style.
Following his entrepreneurial dreams, Jay became a world traveler and connoisseur of life’s finer things. He was a dreamer and futurist. He founded and operated many businesses over the course of his life. He cultivated a love for new technologies and community development, particularly renewable energy projects, investing time and resources in advancing them before that was widely done.
Jay served his community by contributing significantly to the work of the Portland Rescue Mission, the Mt. Olivet Baptist Church (Portland) and by coaching girls basketball.
Jay spent his last years living with his daughter and son-in-law, Nicole and Anthony, along with his two grandchildren, Zara and Anthony Jr. (AJ), playing foursquare, backgammon and teaching his grandkids to play basketball and ride bikes. They made board games together, played UNO, read books and “Paw Paw” made the best popcorn for Friday night movies. He was an exquisitely kind, strong and gentle man.
John Clifford Williams is survived by his partner, Christie Duncan, his daughters, Nicole (Anthony) King, Lauren Williams, bonus daughters, Lindsey Duncan, Caytie Duncan, his mother, Erma L. Williams, his brother, Warner (Pamela) Williams, sister Margaret Williams (Bill Barrett), sister, Ermette Williams, his grandchildren, Zara and Anthony, Jr. and a host of dearly loved, special nephews, nieces, cousins, aunts, neighbors and friends. John was preceded in death by his father, John C. Williams, Sr.
Funeral services will be held on Saturday, June 5, 2021, 11:00am at Paseo Baptist Church. Interment Forest Hill Cemetery. Visitation will be from 10am-11am at the church. Service conducted by Lawrence A. Jones & Sons Funeral Chapel. Condolences may be shared on our website.
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