John Mark Williams

John leaves a legacy of love and wisdom, and the many projects he constructed.

John was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, to Cliff and Mildred Williams. He grew up as the youngest of three children in a close-knit family. Challenges were not unfamiliar to the Williams family. His parents were both disabled due to illnesses suffered during childhood, and they referred to their healthy children as “miracles.” Facing the hardships presented by growing up in this background creates character, and John had character indeed.

John moved to Seattle in 1983, immediately after graduating from the University of Minnesota with a degree in Aerospace Engineering and became an engineer at the Boeing Company. Thirty-five years later he retired having worked in multiple departments and positions with many interesting people. His favorite job had him travelling all over the globe, helping airlines maintain aircraft engines.

John met his wife, Nancy Lewis, through the Seattle Mountaineers in 1991. Their shared love of travel, outside adventuring and projects led to a loving lifelong partnership. Their only child, Natalia, was born in 1996 and immediately became part of the adventure. The three of them travelled, backpacked, skied, sailed, and canoed whenever John’s vacation leave from Boeing would allow. John never allowed vacation time to roll over, always living life to the fullest!

Though John was first diagnosed with cancer at age 32, his strength, courage, and determination meant he never gave up through the years and three rounds of cancer. He dealt with it each time, then moved on and continued living a full and challenging life until the fourth and final round of cancer this year.

He and Nancy and Natalia moved to Vashon Island in 2003, after being “stuck” in Dockton on their sailboat multiple times and falling in love with the island and the people they met whilst waiting for the weather to improve!

John’s passion for woodworking became fully engaged and resulted in a beautiful and unique home (and gardens) which they loved to share with friends and family. The move to Vashon led to years of active community engagement including the Free Range Folk Choir, Vashon Presbyterian Church, Quartermaster Yacht Club, and Scout Troop 294 among others. He loved living on Vashon and attended as many Strawberry Festivals and musical events as possible!

John leaves a legacy of love and wisdom, and the many projects he constructed (including furniture, built-in home improvement projects and many sheds). He is survived by his wife Nancy, daughter Natalia,sister Barbara Williams, brother Clifford Williams (Kara) and nieces and nephews.

A Celebration of Life will be held at 2pm on July 13, 2024 at Vashon Presbyterian Church.