Donald Ray Williams was born on May 13, 1936 in Stratford, Oklahoma to Ida Mae and Clarence Jewell Williams. He grew up in Oklahoma City and graduated from Southeast High school. On August 19, 1955 he married his devoted wife of 64 years, Norma Williams. They raised three sons, Greg, David, and Derek, and one daughter, Kelly. He lived most of his life in Oklahoma City, and 15 years in Wichita, Kansas.
Don spent most of his professional life in the food service industry, waking up at 4:00 a.m., six days a week to make sure customers were fed. He owned several restaurants, bread stores, and distributorships. As a young adult, he worked in his step-dad’s grocery store. This led to him driving a bread route for Bond Bread, where he was promoted to manager and transferred to Wichita, Kansas. His entrepreneurial spirit led him to launch his first restaurant, “The Biscuit House”, known for its homemade biscuits, pies, and Friday night fish-fry’s. He went on to own three more restaurants, including Ida Mae’s Kitchen, named for his mother, who passed down her amazing recipes. Later, he owned Mother’s and Voortman’s Cookie distributorships and became fondly known “The Cookie Man” because he often shared cookies with kids in the neighborhood.
Outside of work, Don loved fast cars, from drag races to NASCAR. Every Memorial Day weekend, his family knew he would be watching the Indy 500. He shared this passion with his grandsons and enjoyed taking them to watch the races at the Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth. Whether it was for work or pleasure, driving was his preferred mode of transportation. His family has fond memories of seeing many sites across the United States on a number of family car trips.
Don loved his family and was loved in return. His children remember him for the strength of his character. He loved a good laugh and was known for his sense of humor, which included an occasional off-color joke. He was determined, possessed a sweet, courageous spirit, and instilled a work ethic that his children carry with them in their own careers. Most of all, Don loved the Lord. He looked forward to weekly Bible studies and participating in the church services at the nursing home – especially singing. When his health allowed, he led Bible studies for the other residents.
Many thanks are owed for the compassionate care given to Don by the staff at Grace Living Center, which was his home for the past nine years. Thanks as well to the kind-hearted nurses at Good Shepherd Hospice. Above all, thank you to Norma, who visited Don every day, encouraged him, and left no stone unturned to ensure the best quality of life possible.
Don is reunited with his wife and favorite lunch partner, Norma Williams and is predeceased by his parents, and his two sisters, Brenda Wright and Francis Williams. He is survived by his four children, his brother Gary Williams, and grandchildren: Ashten Burris, Payton Burris, Ethan Williams, Evan Williams, Logan Williams, Connor Williams and many loving extended family and friends.
A Celebration for the lives of Don and Norma will be scheduled at a later date for family and friends to attend.
Click here to view a webcast of the service on 5/22/2020 at 10:00 AM, Central Standard Time.
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