Daniel G. Williams, 88, timberman and local historian, passed away on Tuesday, July 24, 2012, in Aberdeen, Washington, after a brief battle with cancer. He was born in Bay City, Oregon on August 4, 1923, the son of George and Gwendolyn “Pat” Williams. A few years later, his family migrated to Aberdeen where Dan began his schooling, graduating from Weatherwax High School in 1941. After graduation he entered the United States Marine Corps, serving from 1942 to 1946 as a gunner in a SBD in the South Pacific during World War II.
Dan met his wife Elaine in California and they were married on April 28, 1946, in Washington D.C., following her discharge from the U.S. Navy. The young couple returned to the Northwest, where Dan enrolled at Washington State College. He graduated with a degree in Forestry, and also became a licensed professional land surveyor. In 1950, Dan went to work for Rayonier, Inc. and quickly rose to the position of head timber cruiser. After five years Dan moved over to Blagen’s as head of timber operations. He held this job until 1961, at which point he was lured back to Rayonier for another five year stint, this time as manager of the log sales department. In 1966, Dan bought Elmore Boom Co, a major west coast log exporter, and operated that business until 1975, at which point he semi-retired to return to his first love of timber cruising and surveying. From his early years he had looked at timber prospects with Werner Mayr, Jack Reynvaan, Don Bell, Francis Smith, Mike Tobin and other well known Harbor loggers, including his son Dave’s firm. It is a tribute to his reputation for integrity and expertise in cruising and surveying that all these men remained personal friends throughout his life.
Dan served as a director and president for both the Grays Harbor Log Scaling & Grading Bureau and the Puget Sound Log Scaling & Grading Bureau. He was director and chairman of the Olympic Logging Conference in 1978 and also served as director of the Pacific Logging Congress for four years.
Dan’s passion for hunting big game and the love of the outdoors was proudly passed on to his two surviving sons, Bruce of Golden, Colorado and David (Melody) of Aberdeen. Dan is also survived by his brother, Dave (Gayle) of Puyallup; a nephew, Craig (Sally) Williams of Sequim and niece, Cindy Williams of Olympia; grandchildren, great-grandchildren and lots of great friends. Dan was preceded in death by his parents, and his wife, Elaine.
At Dan’s request, there will be a private urn committal. A gathering of family and friends to celebrate Dan’s life will be announced at a later date.
“A man lived, then a man died… so be it.” Semper Fi
Please take a few moments to record your thoughts for the family by signing the online guest register at www.colemanmortuary.net.