Cover photo for John Delbert Williams's Obituary
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1944 John 2021

John Delbert Williams

June 11, 1944 — February 21, 2021

John D. Williams, 76, of Longview, WA died from COVID-19 on February 21st, 2021.

John was born June 11, 1944 to Delia Bailet Staples and Harry Williams in Salem, OR. He was raised in and around Central Oregon and Longview, Washington, graduating from RA Long High School.

In September 1963, he joined the US Navy, a decision he never regretted. He loved the places the Navy sent him and the adventures he was able to enjoy. He was on the USS Sperry on June 12, 1967 when it ran aground taking a piece out of Highway 4 in Washington on its way out from the Rose Festival. He had some great Navy stories, this one being a big happening that made national news.

After leaving the Navy, he worked for a short time for Weyerhaeuser in Longview, Washington where he settled with his young family. Eventually, John moved to Albany, OR and started work at a new paper mill (eventually a Georgia Pacific mill) that was opening in Halsey, Oregon. John worked for the mill in various positions learning many sides of the operation. He eventually became a forklift operator until he retired in 2008.

After retiring, John settled in Longview, Washington with his life partner, Terri Nyberg. He enjoyed the peace and tranquility of being retired and spending time puttering around the house, working on yard projects, and shining his truck. He also worked part time for the Longview School District for his “fun money.”

John loved muscle cars and motorcycles. If you spent time talking to John, you’d know he had a vast knowledge of classic cars and could tell you the difference in a year of a car by noting sometimes the slightest difference as a trim package or the shape of a tail light. John enjoyed a car that could get away from its shadow or could squeal the tires. You’d hear his infectious giggle as he’d put his foot on the accelerator and see what happened. You couldn’t help but to laugh with him.

Given the chance to see any place or go anywhere, John would choose the ocean. He loved the peace and the serenity the ocean could bring. He spent many day trips to the Washington or Oregon Coast. “Let’s go for a drive,” generally meant a trip to see water. John also loved to pass time in his weekly poker game.

John is survived by his life partner Terri Nyberg, his three children, Jim Williams of Rochester, WA, Lori Durham of Bremerton, WA and Treicia Phelps of Kodak, TN and his stepson, Brandon Nyberg of Snohomish, WA. He is also survived by his brother Dave Williams and sisters Sharon Shehorn and Sandra Wessels of Albany, OR. John had fifteen grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his brother Robert Williams, his parents, his stepdaughter, Nicki Korpi, and his grandchild son, Christian A. Durham.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of John Delbert Williams, please visit our flower store.


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