Pete Williams

Born: Mon., Jun. 15, 1925
Died: Sun., Jun. 9, 2013

Funeral Service

2:00 PM Fri., Jun. 14, 2013
Location: Harney County Church of the Nazarene

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A.D. (Pete) Williams passed away at his home on June 9, 2013  just six days before his 88th birthday following a long battle with cancer.  His life in Harney County is filled with rich memories that have seen great changes in this country during his life time.
     Born the youngest of four boys to Bert aid Sadie Williams on June 15, 1925 in Burns, he grew up in Princeton on his uncle George's original homestead.  Pete's father at one time was the supervisor at the Malhuer Wildlife Refuge while at the same time his mother cooked there.  While staying at the sodhouse on the refuge with his family, Pete being a young boy of about six years at the time carved his name and his father's brand (3F) into the wood of the main building which is still legible today.
     Grades first through fourth were attended in Princeton when he then moved on to schoooling in Crane to attend fifth through eighth grades.  During highschool he lived in the Crane dorm much of the time until graduating in 1942.
     At age 16 after graduating from CUHS Pete went to work for Pete Obeago in the sheep camp during lambing season.  He then hayed for Charlie Beckley and cleared ground in construction work for Earl Sitz.  Some of the sites he prepped for construction included the old Harney District Hospital, the old One-Stop Station, and the Presbyterian Church (of which he and Argetta were the second couple to be married there).
     Pete did alot of haying at the Bell A and P Ranches.  In 1945 the crew was haying a field at the Bell A in the afternoon when a plane flew over with a large banner that read, "the War Is Over".  Haying at that point stopped for the day as everybody was off to celebrate.
     In 1953, Jim Poteet, who leased the Bell A hired Pete and put him in charge of feeding the cattle in the winter.  In June 1955 he married Argetta Stidham who was originally from Clark, Wyoming.  Argetta worked in the kitchen cooking for the hay crews and buckaroos.  Pete with Argetta at his side then began their life together which included spending a great amount of time horseback, buckarooing at Izee, Riverside, and Catlow Valley, then later in the Wagontire and Glass Buttes areas.
     1955 was also the year when Jime and Agnes Poteet purchased the ranch 2 1/2 miles east of Burns which became the LY Ranch.
     Pete and Argetta had two children Letha and Michael.  He continued to work on the ranch for Jim until Jim's passing in 1982 whereupon he and Argetta worked for Agnes who passed away in 1985.   Much of the land which was hay meadows was sold with the remainder of the ranch being turned over to Pete and Argetta who had continued to run it until no longer able to do so.  It was then sold to Mike and his wife Jennifer, and their son Arly.
     In 2008 Pete had been elected Pioneer President which was much fun for him.  It was a time to visit and relive old memories.  In the Harney County parade he rode on a hay wagon (as the pioneer president) which was pulled by the old "Johnny Popper" tractor that he'd spent hours driving in years past.
     Pete was a very simple man in that he did not need alot to make him happy other than family and friends and love of all animals.  He treasured his family and spending time with them is what he would rather do over anything.  Son-in-law Willie provided adventures unknown to Pete such as rides in his bass boat and sailboat and at these times Pete could be usually still be seen wearing his cowboy hat and boots.  Daughter-in-law Jennifer was greatly loved with her own parents, Gwin and Janice Lawson quickly becoming treasured family members and visits from their son Jessie enjoyed.   No one was prouder of his grandson Arly than "Petey" (as nicknamed early by Arly) and though not related felt that Jennifer's daughter Brandy was a true granddaughter.
     Because of the way of life he'd chosen the entire family did work alot together doing such things as buckarooing, haying, repairing fence, trapping, branding calves, the list goes on over the years.  Arrowhead hunting, camping, fishing, hunting, occasional trips to the coast, short family get-a-ways were things he had always been eager to do throughout the years.  Even many times over the last 2-3 years as he had become ill,  being the family man he was, he still did not want to miss out on outings if at all able to go, while at the same time never complaining.
     Pete is survived by his wife Argetta;  daughter, Letha Melton and husband Willie; son, Mike and wife Jennifer, grandson Arly, stepdaughter Ivy Payne and family, step-granddaughter Brandy with children Winter and Jory.  Pete is also survived by nephew Larry Williams and wife Cindy.  He was preceded in death by his parents, all three brothers (Howard, Laverne, and Everett), and niece Diane.

Funeral Service for 87 year old A.D. “Pete” Williams will be held on Friday, June 14, 2013 at the Harney County Church of the Nazarene at 2:00 p.m.  Contributions in Pete Williams’ memory can be made to the Harney County Senior Citizen Center or Harney County Historical Society in care of LaFollette’s Chapel, PO Box 488; Burns, Oregon 97720.  

Charitable donations may be made in Pete's memory to the following organizations:

Harney County Historical Society

Harney County Senior Citizen Center

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