Williams, Hero to Bluebird Slide Victims, Dies at 62


6.1 Williams obituary pic finalCharles D. Williams, known to all as “Charlie,” passed away on April 23, 2013 after a battle with cancer. He was 62. Williams was a cherished husband, father, grandfather, brother and friend.

Charlie was born to Charles Earl and Louise Williams in Pontiac, Mich., on Sept. 26, 1950. He graduated from high school in Galatia, Ill., and then moved to California to attend architecture school. After two years, he decided to pursue a career in general contracting at the urging of a family member.

He is survived by wife Toni L. Williams, son Charles K. Williams, daughters Kiersten and Charity, and grandchildren Abigail, Hannah, Chase and Francesca. He is also survived by his brother Trent Pulliam.

Williams worked in construction for over 40 years. He formed Williams Construction Company in 1989 and built many beautiful custom homes in Laguna Beach and the surrounding Orange County area. He took pride in his craftsmanship as well as his keen sense of design, which was fostered by his love of architecture. In all his buildings, he placed a silver dollar under a stair banister or newel post in order to assure good fortune and happiness to the home and its occupants.

Residents of Laguna Beach and particularly those impacted by the Bluebird Canyon slide of June 2005, will remember Williams selfless and tireless efforts driving his truck over to the slide area, helping people at no cost to retrieve and haul whatever belongings and treasures he could rescue. Williams made literally hundreds of trips into the slide area and entered houses that were in a state of collapse to help friends and neighbors at great personal risk to his own safety. On one occasion, Williams crawled into a collapsing house to retrieve a resident’s wedding ring buried in the mud and wreckage.

When Williams was not building or fixing something, he spent his time pursuing hobbies and   activities he loved; hiking, looking for artifacts and antiques, using his natural green thumb for gardening and raising orchids, and spending time at the Marine Mammal Center helping with whatever they needed built.  He also volunteered for the Cuddle Program at UC Irvine, sharing compassion with abandoned, dying infants so small they fit in the palms of his hands. But most of all, Williams loved spending time with his family.

A public memorial service will take place on Saturday, April 27 at 2 p.m. at Laguna Presbyterian Church, followed by a public celebration of his life which will be conducted at Hotel Laguna’s Rose Garden from 4-6 p.m., where Charlie and Toni were married over 15 years ago. His final resting place is Pacific View Memorial Park in Corona del Mar.

Saint Francis of Assisi said, “He who works with his hands is a laborer. He who works with his hands and his head is a craftsman. He who works with his hands and his head and his heart is an artist.” Charlie Williams was the consummate artist.

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