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Robert Dale Williams


September 19, 2018

Robert Dale Williams, aged 80, died at home in Moxee, Washington, on Sept. 10 from complications related to kidney cancer. Robert, aka "Bob," was born April 8, 1938, at Stevenson, Washington, the second child and only son of F.L. "Bud" and Kathleen (Reynolds) Williams. The family moved to Goldendale in 1944, where Bob attended school. He later joined the Air Force.

Bob married Colleen Kluth of Selah, Washington in 1964, and together they had two children, McKinley and Robin. They divorced after several years.

Bob held various jobs over his lifetime. He worked as a draftsman at Boeing Aircraft Company in Seattle for several years. He returned to Bingen to work with his father in a ready-mix cement business. Later he moved to Dallesport to help his parents on their farm and worked at Harvey Aluminum in The Dalles.

In 1983 Bob married DeeAnn Pavey of The Dalles, Oregon and they had two children, Keenon and Kelsey. They moved to Vancouver for several years, then returned to the family farm. Bob and DeeAnn eventually separated and were divorced.

In 2016, Bob retired from farming and moved to Moxee to be near his son, McKinley, and family.

Early on, after spending some time in San Francisco, Bob developed a love for folk music and learned to play the guitar and banjo. "I just wanted to play; I didn't want to practice," he said. Bob loved all-night radio where he learned about a wide variety of obscure topics. Bob was intellectually gifted and could follow complex subjects in detail. Bob enjoyed playing cribbage and pool. He was a stickler for the rules!

Bob was a favorite uncle to his nieces and nephews. He taught them about folk music and was the quintessential "hippie." His long hair and beard remain his trademarks.

Robert is survived by his sons, McKinley (Renee) Williams of Moxee and Keenon Williams of Pendleton, Oregon; his daughter, Kelsey Williams of Pilot Rock, Oregon, three granddaughters, Elisabeth, Ava and Annamarie and one grandson, Jacob, plus two great-grandchildren. Other survivors are his five sisters; Juanita (Dave) Neitling of The Dalles, Sharleen (Joseph) Stroyan of Oak Harbor, Washington, Marsha (Russ Haydon) Williams of Gig Harbor, Washington, Leslie (Edmund) Washuta of Belvidere, New Jersey and Linda Foley of Seattle, as well as numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his daughter, Robin, and his parents.

Bob was a descendant of the Cascade and Cowlitz Tribes and an enrolled member of the Yakama Nation. Special thanks to Compass Care of Yakima and to Colleen Stephens who helped make Bob's life comfortable at the end.

Graveside services will be held at 11 a.m., Sept. 22 at the Cascade Cemetery in North Bonneville, Washington, where he will be buried beside his ancestors, followed by a celebration of Bob's life at the Hegewald Community Center in Stevenson.


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