Paul Benjamin Williams was born September 3, 1954, in Seattle, Wash. and went home to be with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, on October 26, 2014.
Paul grew up in Des Moines, Wash. and was the fifth-born of 16 children. He attended Mt. Rainier High School and graduated in 1972. A few years later, doctors discovered a tumor on his optic nerve that required surgery. The procedure left Paul completely and permanently blind at the age of 21.
Having the map of Des Moines firmly imprinted on his mind, Paul enjoyed many years of independence, walking around the town, attending the different sporting events at the local Field House as well as the weekly Bible study at Des Moines Gospel Chapel. Paul was known by many as “the blind man who gets around all by himself.” If you honked your horn while driving by, he would raise his cane high in the air so as to acknowledge your “hello.” He brought so much joy to children, especially his many nieces and nephews. He always had a treat for them in his pocket and often times would pull shiny quarters out of their ears! Paul enjoyed sharing jokes with anyone who would listen. His blind jokes were always a big hit, putting at ease the many strangers he would meet on his daily walks.
Paul continued to live with his parents, George and Marilyn Williams, who faithfully cared for him for over 58 years. Paul made his way to The Father’s Ranch (Tonasket, Wash.) in February of 2013, to live with his sister Sharon’s family. Paul’s days at the ranch were spent working alongside Craig (his brother-in-law), enjoying the animals, and sometimes a fishing trip to Bonaparte Lake. Paul attended Sunday morning worship services at Tonasket Bible Church as well as their mid-week Bible study.
Even as Paul began to decline physically, he continued to press on with his wonderful sense of humor and love of life. Paul’s family would like to thank his faithful and selfless care givers Dorothy Leidig and Dawn Nogales for their expression of true Christ-like love and service. The family would also like to thank Dr. Richard Welton for the extraordinary medical care given to Paul during his time in Tonasket. Dr. Welton served Paul far above and beyond the medical status quo.
Paul is survived by his parents, George and Marilyn Williams of Des Moines and many siblings: (listed oldest to youngest) Jeorjia Gooch (Mark), Ravensdale, Wash.; sister-in-law Mitzann Williams, Milton, Wash.; Carolyn Oldright (Ken), Des Moines; John Williams (Jeanie), Tukwila, Wash.; Martin Williams, North Bend, Wash.; Mary Dyck (Phil), Puyallup, Wash.; George Williams (Lorna), Des Moines; David Williams (Krista), Auburn, Wash.; Danny Williams (Shelly), Auburn Wash.; Tommy Williams (Danielle), Eatonville, Wash.,; Jimmy Williams (Tina), Graham, WA; Donald Williams (Madeline), Tacoma, Wash.; Sharon Lofthus (Craig), Tonasket; Stephen Williams (Angie), Tonasket; Debbie Dunkle (Mike), Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Paul also has 48 nieces and nephews and 35 grand nieces and nephews that will all miss him.
Paul was preceded in death by his birth mother, Esther Williams in 1956, and his oldest brother Chris Williams in 2013.
A public memorial will be held in Paul’s honor at 1:00 p.m., November 15, at Des Moines Gospel Chapel in Des Moines, Wash.