Judson Roy "J.R." Williams
1922 - 2021
Born August 9, 1922, to a Texas minister/sharecropper and a former one-room teacher, Judson Roy "J.R." Williams, was the sixth of eight children. During the Depression, the family rode in the back of their truck to work in the canneries of California, but eventually returned to rural Donley County, Texas, where he met Margaret Jean Leathers. She fell for him when he sang "Beautiful Dreamer" in a high school quartet. They married in 1943 while he was serving in WWII. He lost two brothers in that war and a third was held for months in a Nazi camp. After his service, he obtained a degree in education. J.R. also received his master's degree and his administrative certificate. He taught high school and college Spanish and was a basketball coach in Colorado, Texas, and Arizona. He served as a principal in Pagosa Springs, CO, Red Mesa AZ High School, and taught many history and civics classes. He fervently valued democracy and civil rights. He was drawn to the underdog. As an educator, he sought fairness. Always a keen sports fan, J.R. was known to write letters to the NFL and NBA about his views on referee calls. He owned and operated health food stores in Durango and New Mexico. Quick-witted and charming, he worked at the Mesa Verde Museum, the Colorado Welcome Center, looked after his bird feeders, set lofty goals for his questionable carpentry skills, and talked politics. He lived near Dove Creek, CO, where he began his teaching career. In his last years, J.R. replaced "thank you" with "bless you". He was a blessing to multitudes of students who benefited from his confidence in the worth of a good education and a strong work ethic.

Mr. Williams is survived by his son, Jan, and his daughter, Sharon McAnear. He is also survived by his granddaughter, Jaylyn Richards, and his grandsons, Joshua, Jeremy, Gabriel, and Daniel Tate, as well as eleven great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his dear wife, Jean, and his loving son, Jay. He died April 24, 2021 at Mercy Regional Medical Center in Durango, CO; graveside services are pending at the Kline Cemetery.
Published by The Journal on Apr. 27, 2021.
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5 Entries
Mr. Williams was my English teacher in Dolores, CO my sophomore year in high school. He was a wonderful teacher and truly cared about his students. Excellent role model for all of us!

Truly sorry.
Traci (Gorsuch) Prather
May 10, 2021
My beloved grandma Charlene told me many stories about her brother J.R. He was a special man that touched many lives and will be dearly missed.
Darren Huppert
April 30, 2021
One of the kindest upbeat people I’ve known. His Mom lived next door to us for many years and was always so nice!
Doug Bradshaw
April 29, 2021
Mr Williams was my high school English teacher in Dolores. I went on to become a teacher and met up with him and Miss Jean as an adult as we both attended the same church. It was a joy to visit with them. They were very special to me and my daughters. I will always consider myself blessed to have had time with Mr. and Mrs. Williams, they truly were a joy. I can just hear him saying “bless you”. I am glad he is finally reunited with his sweetheart. God Bless you all. My prayers are with you. Beth, Tawnee and Craigin Benavidez
Beth Benavidez
April 29, 2021
May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.
Paula Jacobs
April 29, 2021
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