LIFE TRIBUTE – James C. Williams, II

James C. Williams, II

1948 -2022

James Clifton Williams, II. (Jim) was born on March 12, 1948 to proud parents, James C. Williams and Judy McElroy in Tacoma, Washington. He left this earth on his last adventure on Saturday, December 3, 2022, in Long Beach, California, at the age of 74. He was a 1966 graduate of Nathan Hale High School in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where he was an outstanding track athlete earning numerous awards. He went on to University of Oklahoma on a track and field scholarship and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in 1970. As a child, he was an army brat and lived in many places, but spent most of his life living in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and always considered that his hometown. Jim was a beloved brother, father, grandpa, teacher, and track and field coach. Jim retired to Long Beach, California in 2003 and lived by his sister and best friend, Shirley, and there he found his wonder dog, Kahlua. He certainly loved exploring—whether it was traveling and teaching overseas for years, living in a cave in Greece, a Route 66 road trip, a Joshua Tree excursion with his beloved dog, or taking his daughters to a concert at the Getty—he was eager to see and experience different parts of the world.

In his twenties, he and his wife, Suzanne Haas, did exactly that, hitch-hiking across the United States in 1972, then traveling and living throughout Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East for 12 years. They lived in a Volkswagen van and traveled through Europe to Morocco and the Atlas Mountains and on to Algeria and Tunisia before crossing back into Sicily and Europe. They lived in Germany for two years and hiked and camped in the mountains of Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, biked and camped across Northern Europe for six months. They traveled to Greece and lived in a cave on the island of Ios for six months. They experienced India, Sri Lanka, and Kathmandu, traveling by buses and trains, eventually settling in Isfahan, Iran and teaching school for several years. While in Isfahan, they were able to hike and camp in the sand dunes, learn to rappel down cliffs, hike up mountains, ski in Dizin mountains, and take their classes into the desert to explore the enormous caves. After the Iranian Revolution caused their school to close, they became teachers once again in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, learning to scuba dive and experienced the beauty of the underworld of the Red Sea. Jim and Suzanne had their first daughter, Cody, in Saudia Arabia in 1983. Shortly after, they decided to return back to America and settle into their home in Tulsa, Oklahoma. In 1986, they had their second daughter, Shannon. He was also very passionate about cycling, yoga, politics, University of Oklahoma football, running, music, reading, eating healthy, rescuing animals, and learning. But most of all, Jim loved his girls dearly—Cody, Shannon, and the latest edition, Vivy.

Survivors include daughter, Cody Williams of Nashville, Tennessee; daughter, Shannon McCartney and Jonathon McCartney and, granddaughter, Vivienne McCartney all of Fort Worth, Texas; sister and best friend Shirley (Williams) DeMarco and, husband, Frank Pike of Long Beach, California; lifelong friend and mother of his children, Suzanne Adair, of Fort Worth, Texas; and dear friends, Leo F. Haas III and wife, Linda of Tulsa, Oklahoma; Charlotte Lazar of Tulsa, Oklahoma; Sheri Viola and husband Mike of Palm Beach Gardens, Florida; and wonder dogs, Abaco and Big Red.

Jim’s legacy continues on through his numerous writings, letters, and journals to his beloved family, and especially to his daughters, and his stories which were shared with his students throughout the years. He was deeply loved and will be forever missed. Daddio, “I’m gonna free fall out into nothin.’ Gonna leave this world for a while. Now I’m free, free fallin’…” We love you and your imprint on our lives is forever.

Please click here to post your memories of James.

If you’d like to e-mail a special message to the family, please click here.