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Lisa Bayans

Robin & Cindy Sides

When we think of Dave we can picture his smile and we remember how generous and loving he was. All good memories. We are sending our love to Sherry and Steve and the rest of the family.

Mark Block

This is the nicest obituary I have ever read. i'm so sorry to hear if Dave's passing. it was a pleasure knowing him and his family in Villa Park.


Daryle and Mary

Dave and Sherry, you have been best friends since we met. We cherished our friendship all these years I hope Dave and Daryle are catching up. Love and prayers to your beautiful family. Mary and Daryle

David L. Williams


David L. Williams walked into the arms of his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on June 19th, 2024. He was 78 years old. He leaves behind Sherry, his wife of 49 years, his son Jeff, his daughter Kelly, his son Steve, eight grandchildren, and one great-grandchild. He joins his daughter Tracie, his parents Joe and Cleo Williams, brothers Joe and Jerry, and brothers-in-law Ron and Tom in Heaven.

Born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa on August 10, 1945, to Joe and Cleo Williams, he grew up in Tacoma, Washington with his brothers and sisters Joe, Jerry, Susan, John, Jordan, Jennifer, and many foster brothers and sisters.

How does one take the measure of a man who meant so much to the Tacoma and Seattle communities? To his friends and compatriots in the NFL? To his family? The people of Tacoma and Seattle might say it was watching Dave’s incredible athletic abilities develop before their eyes and cheer as one of their own stepped onto the national stage. His professional coaches and teammates could point to his leadership, his tenacity, his grit. As his family, we believe it was his deep and overflowing love for all of us, his generosity of time and self, and how his measure lives through our shared memories.

For his beloved wife Sherry, Dave was her rock. They were soulmates, the one she could turn to in the most difficult of times, and her best friend. The love between Dave and Sherry transcends time and space and is everlasting.

For Dave’s oldest son Jeff, it is the memory of always running with his father for the sheer boyish joy of it; striders on the beach in Maui, repeats across a dry lakebed in Baja, intervals at a park in Bellevue one morning and leaving footprints in the dew. It is the drape of a cold cloth on the back of his neck from the old track man to the future one after a searing summer workout at U.C. Irvine.

Dave taught his oldest daughter Kelly how to fight, both by example and shared DNA. Fight for what you believe in, fight for justice, fight for equality and fairness, and fight for the vulnerable. Dave might say she just liked to fight in general, but Kelly is certain that she had a great role model. She’s pretty sure he’s shaking his head and laughing as he is reading this.

When Dave’s youngest daughter Tracie was a little girl, she loved Dave the minute she saw him. Dave’s heart was so big that they immediately became father and daughter and loved each other fiercely. Tracie and Dave shared big hearts, big love for others, and she learned to teach and lead others by watching Dave’s example.

Dave’s youngest son Steve recalls there have been so many things his father taught him. Most importantly was introducing him to his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Dave was the toughest man he ever knew mentally or physically. He had the most beautiful heart filled with nothing but compassion and kindness. The way he carried himself as a man of God was truly an example for others. “I will always love you Dad and thank you for loving me. Love you forever.” – 2nd Timothy 4:6-8.

Max was Dave’s first grandson and loved his Papa very much. He will miss him terribly.

Dave and his granddaughter Devon were as thick as thieves. She recalls that so many of her earliest and fondest childhood memories have Papa in them. She remembers spending countless hours with him on the beaches in Kauai, looking at shells and rocks and trying to see turtles and dolphins. Having passion fruit juice in the morning and making a snack mug with sweet and salty treats for movie nights in the evening. As summer approaches, the smell of sunscreen and the sea still makes her think of him.
Granddaughter Isabelle smiles when she remembers how her grandfather had an answer for everything, even if he had to make it up on the spot (and was totally wrong). Dave’s son-in-law Brian agrees and laughs when he recalls “Dave did not let facts get in the way of a good story.”

Nick, Dave’s grandson, recalls perching atop Papa’s shoulders on the beaches of Kauai, how they braved every wave together, and walked home from Queen’s Bath for dinner and non-stop movies. He will forever thank Papa for getting every grain of sand off his feet!

Dave’s granddaughter Maya says that Papa was everyone’s sports superhero. He was that rare case where you didn’t outgrow the awe you had about his achievements but appreciated them more and more as you got older. His love for sports was always a conduit for his love for us, a connection point and source of cherished memories. His encouragement to “be the best you can be” drives us forward in all aspects of our lives.

Granddaughter Chloe says Papa taught her the joy and love of faith. He showed everyone in his life the power of love and kindness and she is grateful to have learned that from him.

Dave’s grandson Bryce remembers how much his grandfather loved and supported the military. They would often binge watch war movies late into the night. It’s probably no surprise to anyone that Dave was fiercely opinionated. Bryce recalls his Papa’s sense of humor and remembers one of the last things Papa said to him, which was trash talking a football team (you can take the player out of the game, but never the game out of the player). “Bryce, I was just watching a game on TV and what I learned is that the (insert blank) team can’t play for s*** and they might need me on the field to straighten them out.”

Calvin’s favorite memory of his grandfather is when he was a young boy around 9 or 10 and was out to dinner with Papa at a restaurant called Juneau. After dinner, there was a moment where Papa and Calvin were waiting for the rest of the group and Papa looked at the restaurant name above the door and said, “Juneau (do you know) this place is called Juneau?” Calvin started laughing hysterically, which egged Papa on and for the next few minutes, Papa made every “Juneau” (sounds like “do you know”) joke he could think of while Calvin collapsed in laughter and begged for more.

Paige was like a daughter to Dave and recalls that he was her life’s cheerleader. He wanted her to be the best she could be-professionally, spiritually, and personally. Knowing what he overcame gave her strength and resilience: A patriot, athlete, leader, husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather and follower of Jesus.

Younger brother John remembers Dave as a wonderfully kind and generous person. John smiles when he thinks of Dave’s remarkable athletic abilities which were second to none. He could have easily played pro basketball or baseball in addition to football and track. When he played summer league baseball in high school in Tacoma, he was a switch hitter, played in the outfield, and could run down long hit balls with ease. Pro baseball scouts in attendance said he could sign with the major leagues right out of high school. If he had time at UW in between football and track he would have started in basketball. He was a good, solid Christian man who took pride in all his children.

Sister Susan laughs when she remembers how proud Dave was when as a freshman in high school, he was finally taller than her when she wore her 2-1/2-inch heels to her senior prom, making her 5’11 ½.

Relatives Mike and Patti remember Dave as a brother to them. He was unselfish, loving, and cared deeply for his family. A part of Dave will always be with them. Sister-in-law Sandi will miss him every day and feels she was so lucky to have him as a brother-in-law. He was consistently kind, thoughtful, and always there if you needed him for anything. Sister-in-law Angela recalls his terrific talent and rock-solid faith.

Nephew David remembers Dave’s approachability, his work ethic, and the Williams Family Decathlons every summer. In David’s words, “this is everything I imagined how a pro football player would spend his summers…he was teaching us good habits and discipline and we didn’t even know it.” David’s wife Irma recalls Dave’s faith, his big heart, and his kindness. David and Irma smile as they reminisce about Dave sending their daughters “Dad jokes.” Even in Dave’s final months, he cared for and stayed connected with others with humor and love.

To Dave the son, husband, the father, the grandfather, the great-grandfather, the brother, the uncle, and the friend, we take your measure from how you loved us, how you taught us, your firm belief in the inherent goodness and potential of others, and your fierce and undying loyalty to those of us lucky enough to have known you. But most importantly, you lived a life of faith. You followed the teachings of Jesus Christ, fell, got up again, and kept going. You were a seeker of the Word and never gave up looking for wisdom and guidance from your Heavenly Father. God sees the man you were, the life you led, and how much you meant to your family and the world. He has taken the measure of your heart, and it is full.


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