Jon C. “Jack” Williams, 83, of Prairie Village, passed peacefully on February 5, 2018.
Jack was born and raised in Ohio, where in his youth, he was known for his dancing. Swing dance (or jitterbug) was his forte, and continued to be a passion throughout his life, along with his wife.
He proudly served in the US Air Force during the Korean War, working with aircraft as an electronics specialist. The poem “High Flight” by John Magee was of special significance to him.
Following the service, he returned to Ohio where he graduated with a business degree and did post graduate work in metallurgical engineering. During that time, he owned and operated a boat marina (including restaurant and bar) on the Ohio River. This “river connection” continued after a career change and move to Kansas City in 1967. There he met Lou, (his wife and partner of nearly 50 years) on her first day in the city. Their initial outing was to the Scout statue bluff, overlooking the Missouri River.
In his 30 year career with Essex, Int'l (a subsidiary of United Technologies), he worked in sales and sales management-- at one point, responsible for twenty six states west of the Mississippi River. He made so many flights from Kansas City, they called him “the Eagle.” He was their first salesman to use a personal computer on the road, and was quickly put to work training other reps. As he aged, his honorary title was changed to “the silver Eagle,” acknowledging both his age and his great hair.
He did a good deal of vacation traveling, generally at Lou's insistence. Since he traveled so many thousands of miles during his career, he preferred to stay at home (unless it involved cruise ships, river barges, tropical islands, boating, snow skiing, golfing, Club Meds, or San Clemente with dear friends).
"At home" included a secondary residence lovingly named "Jack's Shack" (the river connection again) at the Lake of the Ozarks. For over 30 summers, he and Lou boated, skied, golfed and partied with many friends. In the winters, they would ski many of the mountains in Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and California.
When he was at home, he was an avid tennis player (very nearly a charter member of Woodside Racquet Club) until the age of 81. He was a so-so golfer and snow skier, and remained incredibly physically fit his entire life. He was a voracious reader—minimum of three books a week. Trained in classical piano, Jack could also sit down and play a version of “Stardust” that would have pleased even Hoagy Carmichael.
A Chiefs fan from their outset, and a more vocal KU Basketball fan in the later years (Rock Chalk), he always joked about how his wife was the only woman he knew who had the team roster on her cell phone and could call the play-by-play action so well that as his eyesight failed, he could still enjoy the games.
Jack desired a small family celebration of passage, rather than a funeral. His wishes have been honored, with his brother-in-law/close friend officiating. The family suggests memorial contributions to the Kansas City Hospice House, where he was provided excellent, tender care by many special ladies, and where he and Lou found peace on his final journey.
He will be greatly missed, but will be carried in our hearts eternally!