On Wednesday, September 27, our beloved Donald (Don) Paul Williams of Evergreen, Colorado, surrounded by his family, passed away after a brave and inspiring battle with cancer. Don was born on July 10, 1957 in Denver, Colorado, and raised in St. Paul, Minnesota, the son of William Vincent Williams and Beryle Lou (Wood) Williams. He graduated from Murray High School in St. Paul in 1975, received a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Hamline University in St. Paul in 1980, was awarded a competitive Fiske Music scholarship in Piano Performance for 1985-1986 at the University of Colorado, Boulder, earned a Teaching Certification from Metro State College in 1994, and completed a Master’s degree in Special Education at the University of Northern Colorado in 1999. Don’s life was dedicated to helping others, particularly children. He worked for many years with troubled children at Forest Heights Lodge in Evergreen, and was a teacher of music, math, social studies, English, and physical education at several Evergreen and North and South Routt schools, receiving a Teacher of the Year award for 2016-2017. He received many awards for his piano performance, and brought his talent and love of music to people throughout his life. He excelled at speech and acting, and performed with the Evergreen Players. He was the music director or part of the music team at several churches over the years, including the Evergreen Christian Fellowship. Don wrote and directed school musicals, including one that he wrote and co-directed during his bout with cancer – a children’s musical about bullying titled “RAK (Random Acts of Kindness) Ninjas” performed at Center Stage.
Don was an extraordinary athlete, competing very successfully in diving and tennis through his school years, and teaching and competing in tennis tournaments in his adult life. He was a passionate and gifted skier, and was never happier than when the fresh powder called his name at Mary Jane. Always up for adventure, his favorite outings with his dear life partner Diane (Din) Golden often involved great hikes and secluded mountain hot springs. Don was a hysterically funny storyteller, and often regaled family and friends with stories of his crazy misadventures. Don’s joy and love of life was contagious, and his deep spirituality guided him and helped him provide comfort and counsel to so many people.
Don was preceded in death by his father, William. He is survived by his mother Beryle (Bea), his partner Din and her sons Isaac and Wyatt Manobla, his daughter Jessica Williams, his brother Michael Williams (Sally) of Phippsburg, CO, sister Blythe Williams (Richard Kay) of Durham, NC, brother Jeffrey Williams (Lisa Conley) of Seattle, his nieces and nephews Patrick and Kirsten Williams, Adam and Sylvie Kay, and Zhen Williams, and many special cousins and countless friends. The family appreciates the many kindnesses of the staff at Lutheran Hospice in Wheatridge, Colorado. Arrangements entrusted to Evergreen Memorial Park (www.evergreenmemorialpark.com). In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Sarcoma Foundation of America (www.curesarcoma.org).