In Memoriam: Chuck Williams

We Remember Chuck Williams

This outdoor enthusiast, hiker and avid photographer volunteered an incredible number of hours for the Arizona Trail Association. Chuck and his camera became a regular part of “Close the Gap” weekends on the Arizona Trail beginning in 2008; he continued to be active until August, 2013. ATA has a treasure trove of his outstanding photographs on file; they have appeared on the web site, in newsletters, event reports and other publicity. He led an inspiring life, and his many ATA friends were blessed to be a part of it.I know he brought out the best in others, shared his expertise, and encouraged others to excel with their own special skills. I know he appreciated beauty and shared his interpretations. And I know one thing Chuck was not.

He was not into “self aggrandizement.” Confident, competent, and modest, he kept busy with creative and constructive activities; he did not flaunt his many accomplishments. His approach to life is an inspiring example.

Passage 34

If you had to choose one quality to describe Chuck’s outlook on life or his photographs, that might be a focus on beauty. He found beauty in people, and he saw beauty in the outdoors. His photographs revealed magnificent beauty in composition, colors, and details.

Hundreds of stunning photographs document faces of the volunteers amid the scenery of the San Francisco Peaks Passage during the “Close the Gap” events. Chuck recorded the silhouettes of the towering ponderosas against the grandeur of the Peaks. He shared the beauty of intricate branches and pinecones and captured brilliance in a single wildflower.

Chuck loved the North Rim. Gary and I were fortunate to share some of those hikes along the Rainbow Rim and on the Arizona Trail. Chuck loved to photograph the aspens in their fall glory. In his words, “The colors surround us and reward the effort to seek them out and savor the beauty. Photographers have the opportunity to capture, preserve, and share the essence.” Arizona Fall Color, 2012. Many ATA volunteers will recognize the scenes in Arizona Mountain Country – Flagstaff, 2012. View the pages of these and 27 other books:

Chuck’s family wrote:

“Charles H. Williams IV of Scottsdale, Arizona passed away on January 20, 2014 at age 80. Chuck was a graduate of Princeton University and Syracuse University. After serving two years of active duty as a communications Officer with the U.S. Air Force, he embarked on a long and successful career in the computer industry, primarily with General Electric and Honeywell. He retired in 2001. Throughout his life Chuck was a great outdoor enthusiast and avid photographer. In his later years he revived an earlier interest in making music, playing at college reunions and recording several CDs of his mandolin music.

Chuck loved his family and many friends, and brought out the best in those whose lives he touched. His wide circle of friends and colleagues grew steadily through the years, particularly with his involvement in the Arizona Outdoor Travel Club, Digital Imaging Group, Arizona Trail Association, Thursday morning Coffee Club and other clubs and organizations. Chuck is survived by his loving wife Patsy of 36 years, sons:  Russell (wife Sandra), Charlie, (wife Sandy), Robert, Stepchildren: Larry Henkel, Brenda Spratt, 10 Grandchildren, and 9 great grandchildren.”

Submitted by Gay Hohner