Ross Perry Williams Jr. passed away Friday, Aug. 15, while on a golf trip to Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.
Born on Valentine’s Day in Seattle in 1928, Ross, the fourth of five children, grew up in the Laurelhurst section of Seattle. Ross attended Roosevelt High School and was very active in sports playing baseball, tennis, diving and skiing. He became an Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts at 16. At 17, he earned his pilot’s license flying float planes out of Kenmore Air Harbor.
He attended the University of Washington under the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps Program and pledged as DKE, eventually becoming president of his fraternity in his final year. He joined the UW Ski Team and enjoyed a short competitive racing career improving every year, winning many races.
At UW, he met Mary Jean Cochrane (Corky) and they were married after he graduated from college. In 1950, he graduated with a degree in business administration and entered active duty in the Navy serving aboard a destroyer Escort in the Korean Conflict until 1953.
In 1954, he began working for Redisco, a financial subsidiary of American Motors Corp., living in Portland, Seattle, Denver and Detroit. In 1967, he moved to Los Angeles to take a position as an assistant vice president of The Bank of California. He retired in 1985, having ultimately been president, chief operating officer and chairman of the board of the bank in San Francisco.
Through the years, he served in leadership roles in Rotary, Seattle Chamber of Commerce, Junior Achievement, Seattle Council of Boy Scouts, Pacific Science Center, United Way and the United States Ski Association. He also served on the board of directors of Peninsula Hospital and Medical Center, Pacific First Financial and Pacific First Savings & Loan Bank.
In 1986, he first bought a condominium in Sun Valley, Idaho, 38 years after first visiting for a ski race while on the University of Washington Ski Team. In 1994, he became a full-time resident when he completed the construction of a new home in the Elkhorn area. He last hit the ski slopes in his early 80s, gliding down the hill in his timeless, distinctive smooth and classy style, astonishing those witnesses that knew his age. In 2010, he was inducted into the Northwest Skiers Hall of Fame of the Northwest Skiers Museum in Leavenworth, Wash.
Golf increasingly became a focus of his life, belonging at various times to The Peninsula Golf and Country Club in San Mateo, Calif.; Broadmoor Golf Club in Seattle, Wash.; The Valley Club in Sun Valley, Idaho; Thunderbird Country Club in Rancho Mirage, Calif.; and The Seattle Golf Club, in Seattle, Wash. In 2002, he shot his age (74) for the first time, repeating or improving on the feat many times since.
He is survived by his wife Corky Williams, in Seattle, Wash.; son Ross Peter Williams, in San Mateo, Calif.; daughter Alison Wallace and husband Kevin, in San Mateo, Calif.; son Jeffrey Charles Williams and wife Melisa, in Sun Valley, Idaho; and four grandchildren.
A memorial will be held at the Seattle Golf Club on Sept. 12.