Richard C. Williams

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Richard Collins Williams, 92, died Sept. 22 at Laramie Care Center in Laramie.

He was born on June 7, 1914, in Laramie to Arthur H. and Minnie (Collins) Williams.

His paternal grandparents were W.R. and Maggie Williams, some of the first settlers in the Tie Siding area. His maternal grandparents, Fred and Helen Collins were pioneers in the Sand Creek area.

Mr. Williams was raised and spent his life on the AX Ranch, which was homesteaded by his father.

He received his grade-school education at the Pine Ridge, a rural school located on the ranch, attended Laramie High School and graduated in 1932.

He married Augusta (Gussie) Norell on Sept. 12, 1937. They had three daughters.

After his marriage, Mr. Williams worked for his widowed mother on the AX Ranch. In 1946, he purchased the ranch and gradually made many improvements and added land to the original homestead. He was well known for his Black Angus cattle. He was a very diligent protector of the natural resources and was very aware of the earth, water and wildlife aspect of daily ranching life. The AX Ranch was his life and, next to his family, his love. The ranch was sold in 2002.

For many years he was the local area brand inspector and served on the local school district board. He was on the Albany County Soil Conservation committee and served on the FHA board. He and his wife traveled to South America on a Cattleman’s tour, to Canada to the site of his paternal grandparent’s homes, and to Australia. He and his wife traveled Wyoming attending Eastern Star meetings when his wife was a grand officer and attended Eastern Star Grand Chapter each year.

Mr. Williams enjoyed his family and was very proud of them and their families. All the grandchildren spent as much time as possible on the ranch with Grannie and Granddad. Grandkids would spend the entire summer if possible.

He was very active in Masonic Organizations. He initiated the Shrine Beef Caravan in 1971. Local Shrine clubs would donate beef animals to the Shriners Hospital in Salt Lake City. In the fall several Shrine ranchers would take their trailers and haul the beef animals to Salt Lake City. They timed the trip to coincide with the Wyoming/Utah football game. Richard and Gussie enjoyed the trips, the football games and looked forward to it each year. They were very dedicated to the Shriners Hospital as well as the Cathedral Home for Children in Laramie.

Richard Williams was active in many organizations which included the Pole Mountain Cattle Association, Albany County Stockgrowers, Wyoming Stockgrowers, Wyoming Farm Bureau, Soil Conservation District, was a life member of Elks Lodge No. 582, Past Associate Guardian of Bethel No. 44, Job’s Daughters; Gem City Lodge No. 52 AF and AM, York Rite Bodies, Korein Temple, Laramie Shrine Club, Wyoming Consistory No. 1, Order of the Jesters, he was a Past Patron of Snowy Range Chapter No. 45; was a life member of the Virginia Dale Community Club, and a 50-year member of Gem City Lodge No. 52 A.F. & A.M.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his brother, Fredrick Williams; Augusta (Gussie), his wife of 67 years; and grandsons, Kelly Ray Houchin and Ashley Gary Mathisen.

He is survived by daughters Dixie Mathisen, Julie and husband Duane Houchin, all of Laramie, Lynn Williams-Haas and husband, Dennis, of Cheyenne; grandchildren, Amber Mathisen of Laramie, Corey and Angela Houchin; and great-grandsons, Brennon and Kyle Houchin of Eaton, Colo., Jim Warfield of Laramie, Jason Warfield of Fort Calhoun, Neb.; Karla and David Tow; great-granddaughter Skye Houchin of Dysart, Iowa; and niece, Elizabeth Dearth of Mattawan, Mich.

Services are under the direction of Montgomery Stryker Funeral Home and will be 2 p.m. Friday in Laramie.

Pallbearers will be Corey Houchin, Jim Warfield, Jason Warfield, Gary Mathisen, Duane Houchin and Ted Warfield.

Visitation will be from 2 p.m. until 5:30 p.m. Thursday and from 10 a.m. until service time on Friday at Montgomery-Stryker Funeral Home.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Masonic Temple Board, 401 Ivinson Ave., Laramie, WY 82070. To send condolences or to sign the online guest book go to

This is a paid obituary.