Robert Williams Memories from his oldest granddaughter :)

I am the oldest, and therefore luckiest, grandchild because I got to spend the most earthly time with grandpa. I have lots and LOTS of memories with him to share!

When I was very young, I lived in Chandler and then Gilbert while Grandpa and Grandma lived in Mesa. I remember their house very well: front room with baby grand piano, a living room where I would watch all their Disney movies, dining room and kitchen, sewing/guest room, a room with their son’s stuff, and the master suite. They had a backyard with a lawn and a huge pool with diving board, a garden behind the cinder block wall, and then grandpa also built a big koi pond with waterfall and a big sunroom for their hot tub. Grandma and Grandpa’s house was a paradise with lots of fun things to do! I give them all the credit for teaching me to swim and to love the water!

Grandpa equates in my mind with adventure and the love of nature. He would take us grandkids out in the forest when we stayed at the cabin in Strawberry, AZ (correct me if I’m wrong on location…). There was a HUGE meadow and a small grove of trees in the middle. We would go out and hide in the trees and look out grandpa’s binoculars at the elk as they grazed in the field. Brigette and I got to go on a Grand Canyon train ride with grandpa and grandma, where we listened to a mariachi band, were part of a train heist, and got out to climb down the canyon a little ways and feed chipmunks. Grandpa also showed us how he took care of his koi fish in the backyard. He had a whole bunch. When he moved to Woodland Hills, UT he had one koi fish, Freckles, that grew as big as a cat and is still there! It also turns out there was a tinier koi fish hiding out in the pond and now it’s about half the size of Freckles. The pond can barely fit the two of them!

I saw my first rattlesnake in the wild on a walk with grandpa a couple years ago. It was coiled ahead of us in the side of a gulley, staring us down. I was frozen solid with fear, but grandpa was throwing pistachio shells at it to get it to rattle!

Grandpa would take us grandkids down to the neighbors horses to feed them melon rinds. It’s the sloppiest thing you’ll ever see in your life!

Everyone who knew grandpa knows that he bled BYU blue all his life. Just the two of us attended several basketball, soccer, and football games together. Most of the game would be spent with him introducing me to people in the crowd, on the team, and everyone in between! I loved cheering and singing the fight songs alongside him. It was a huge blessing to go to BYU and to be able to visit him and grandma whenever I had a break from studies.

Grandma and grandpa had a great love for the arts! They took me to see lots of shows: Hale Center Theater’s Beauty & the Beast and Brigadoon, Sundance’s West Side Story and The Music Man, and several more, all classics in their own right. They would also come to see me play the trombone (an heirloom left over at their house from their sons’ high school days!) in my elementary school concerts.

We went on many neat trips together, but the very best one was last year when they got the whole family out to California for their 50th anniversary. We rode a ferry out to Catalina Island, where we saw a pod of dolphins and a HUGE whale in the wild, something the captain said was super rare! It couldn’t have been a coincidence. We went parasailing (so scary!), went to Sea World, the Mormon Battalion museum, and ate delicious food. I feel so blessed to have been able to go on that grand adventure with them!

I was able to visit grandpa in the hospital a few times in the last months of his life. When grandma said he was going to hospice care, my heart broke. I am grateful to have been able to hold his hand one last time. He kissed my hand twice. I came to see him on Monday and on Wednesday of his last week, and I remember someone saying something and him replying, "think positive, think positive". Those are some of the last words I heard him say and it comforted us all to hear his wisdom. Those words were the foundation of his whole existence and will bear us up for the rest of ours!

Savannah (Williams) Nicholes

One of Dad’s Sayings

My Dad had all kinds of sayings that he never got tired of using (even though we all did.)

When people would tell him, “It’s nice to see you, Robert.” He would reply “It’s better to be seen than viewed.”

Well, Dad will finally be viewed at his funeral.  But he’ll still be seen by many others on the other side.

Who’s in Your Room?

Dad was pretty conservative in that he was always trying to conserve energy, water, or anything that costs money.

So whenever he would see a light on in our bedroom and we weren’t in there, he would say, "Who’s in your room?" which was his polite way of saying "Turn off the light!"

Sometimes, when I was feeling smart-alecky, I would say, "Tommy, my imaginary friend is in there" or something of that sort.