Funeral service for Don M. Williams, 92, of Nacogdoches, will be at 10:00 AM on Saturday, April 16, 2022, at Laird Funeral Home with Pastor David Brasher officiating. Burial will follow at Sunset Memorial Park Cemetery. Visitation will be from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM on Friday, April 15, 2022, at Laird Funeral Home.
Don Michael Williams was born on June 3, 1929 in Rusk County, Texas to Glen Louis Williams and Ada Mae Blankenship Williams. He was the fifth of six children. His early years were spent on the family farm near what is now Joinerville, Texas. In his youth, Don helped with chores around the farm and worked part time in his father’s store, “Williams Groceries”.
He attended Gaston High School where he excelled academically, was first chair trumpet for the Gaston High School band and played offensive guard for the Gaston Red Devils football team. He graduated from high school at the age of sixteen and continued his education at the University of Texas at Austin where he studied petroleum engineering.
While home from college in the summer of 1948, he me the feisty, auburn-haired, fifteen year old Alvena Marie Gatewood – “The prettiest girl at Gaston High School”. They began dating and corresponded when Don returned to Austin in the fall. After graduating at the top of his class in 1950, he and Alvena were married in a simple home ceremony on October 28th.
At that time, Don was employed by Seaboard Oil Co. and following their honeymoon in Galveston, the couple moved to Sweetwater, Texas. Shortly thereafter, Don received his draft notice and reported to Fort Riley Kansas for basic training. Once his training was completed, he was stationed at Fort Dix New Jersey where he served as an instructor and achieved the rank of corporal. Following his discharge at the conclusion of the Korean Conflict, Don resumed his job as a petroleum engineer with Seaboard Oil. The company was subsequently bought out by Texaco, for whom he worked until retiring in 1986.
Congenial and hard-working, Don quickly ascended the corporate ladder and worked at Texaco offices in Dallas, Midland, Hobbs, Houston, New York City and Miami. His job afforded him the opportunity to travel extensively throughout the U.S., South America, Europe and Africa. By the time he retired, he had attained the title of “Manager of Operations for the Western Hemisphere” for the Texaco Oil Company.
Following retirement, he and Alvena returned to Texas to be closer to their two children, Judith Kay and Don Jr. They settled in Nacogdoches where they soon became active members of Perritte Memorial United Methodist Church.
Don was an unassuming, kind, hard-working man who was devoted to God, his family, his work and, once retired, a good afternoon nap.
He was preceded in death by his parents, three brothers, two sisters and Alvena - his cherished wife of 66 years. He is survived by his two children, five grandchildren and four great grandchildren.
“A heart is not judged by how much you love; but by how much you are loved by others”
- L. Frank Baum, “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz”
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