Donald Lee Williams

Donald Lee Williams

January 26, 1954 - April 04, 2023

Donald Lee Williams

January 26, 1954 - April 04, 2023


Donald Lee Williams
January 26, 1954 to April 4, 2023

It is with deep sadness we announce the passing of our beloved Don Williams.  Don passed peacefully on April 4, 2023, at age 69, at home where he wanted to be.  He will be deeply missed and forever in our hearts.

Don was born in Santa Barbara, a town that he loved, and where his heart called home.  He was the youngest child of Richard Lee Williams and Celia Williams.  Raised in Santa Ana, California, along with his two brothers, Ted and Doug, the 1960s was a time of opportunity, innovation and great rock and roll music, which he loved.  There were also great cars, which became his lifelong passion.  He was known for his quick wit and friendliness.  He cherished lifelong friendships with his grade school buddies and times spent with his Santa Barbara cousins and family. He had an excellent memory and would often recount childhood events in the most minute detail, amazing us with stories that would remind us of a time when life was simpler.

In 1971, Don met his high school sweetheart, Ellen Cross, whom he married in 1979.  It was an exciting time filled with dates at the local drive ins and rock concerts.  It was also a period of incredible amount of social change.  In the 70s the Vietnam war, gas wars, and inflation raged, the world became computerized by Apple and Microsoft, and political norms were challenged.  It was a tough time to get started, but together Don and Ellen built a life together that stood the test of time. They were married for 44 years, and he was a devoted, protective, and loving husband.

In 1981, Don became father to Austin Martin, and in 1985, to Richard John.  Nothing was more important to him than providing the love and support his sons needed.  He never missed any of their important milestones, cheering them on as they pursued their passions.  His favorite times were when they were camping, scouting, going to band performances and parades, attending varsity basketball games, and going on road trips to tournaments.  They taught him how to play video games, he watched WWF Wrestling with them.  He didn’t want to miss a moment of their youth.  They were close and loved each other fiercely.

Another of Don’s great joys was traveling the world.  Once he got his first passport, he was eager to visit other countries, with a special affinity for luxury cruises.  He also enjoyed taking Ellen shopping at the local antique flea markets, always searching for unique automobilia, vintage toys and artifacts.  He loved the thrill of the hunt.  But mostly, he loved the simpler times of just being with the people he loved.

While the last few years were particularly challenging for Don, he always put the needs of his family before his own.  We will never be able to replace the love he had for all of us, and we will always remember him.

A celebratory memorial service will be held Tuesday, April 25, 2023, at 11:00 a.m. at O’Connor Mortuary, Laguna Hills, CA.  Don will be laid to rest next to his beloved son Austin, at El Toro Memorial Park at 1:00 p.m.

Online condolences may be expressed through

Celebration Of Life

  • Date & Time: April 25, 2023 (11:00 AM)
  • Venue: O'Connor Mortuary
  • Location: 25301 Alicia Parkway Laguna Hills, CA 92653 - (Get Directions)
  • Phone Number: (949) 581-4300

Graveside Service

  • Date & Time: April 25, 2023 (1:00 PM)
  • Venue: El Toro Memorial Park
  • Location: 25751 Trabuco Road Lake Forest, CA 92630 - (Get Directions)
  • Phone Number: (949) 951-9102

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11 responses to Donald Lee Williams

  1. We were deeply saddened to hear of Don’s passing. Our love and prayers to you.

  2. Don Martinez says:

    Don & Ellen my best friends for more than 50 years, they introduced me to Susan who I married I will never forget Don and all the good times we had I’m so sorry Ellen you and Don are in my prayers

  3. Don was a sweet, charismatic man, and a wonderful husband to Ellen. I always enjoyed seeing them together. My prayers and condolences are with his loved ones mourning. Don will forever be by your side.

  4. Ellen, We are so sad to learn of Donny’s passing.
    Our sincere condolences.
    Maddy and George Kellert

  5. Bob and Carol Kellert says:

    Ellen, Richie and the Williams Family,

    Bob and I are deeply saddend by Don’s passing. I remember him stopping by the house in Modesto just long enough to look at Bob’s collection. He loved his cars.

    Will truly be missed by all. Our hearts go out to you all.

    1. Doug Troxel says:

      Don was such a great guy. We have great memories with the two of you and the many stories you shared of your life with each other. We were very lucky to have been part of the State Farm Family with you. The Panama cruise was amazing, had so much fun. Our love and prayer are with you always, Doug and Carol.

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