Ernest Richard Williams was born August 31, 1936 to Lulu (Wardel) and Harold “Brick” Williams. He passed away December 13, 2020 peacefully at his home in Cortez.
Ernie was born in Rock Springs, Wyo. Where his parents ran the Mormon farm in the Ferson-Eadon Valley, Wyo. There are stories of Ernie at a young age, with his brother, running and catching wild horses. He quit school and left home at 16 years old to go ride race horses in Oregon.
At the age of 18, Ernie enlisted in the Army and was sent to Korea and spent almost two years there. The last half of his tour, Ernie and his brother served in the same camp.
After returning home from Korea, Ernie met Barbara Jackson and they were married March 1, 1957. To this union there were five children one step-son, Ernie Williams, Jerry Williams, Barbie Williams, Evan Williams, Tiffanie Williams, and Delford James Perry. Ernie and Barbara started their life together running horses in Phoenix, Ariz. and then onto Portland, Ore. where he started attending church and was saved.
Ernie became an ordained minister and took on his first church in Green River, Wyo. As a family, the Williams’ moved so that Ernie could pastor at a few small churches. He was not scared of anything and would do anything to support the church and his family. There were many occasions when Ernie would minister in the morning and ride racehorses in the afternoon; he was the original cowboy preacher.
As life has its ups and downs, Ernie found himself single again. He met and married Barbara Lewis on December 20, 1983. They were a great team, Barb was great at building crafts and Ernie was good at selling them. They traveled a lot setting up stores in Utah, New Mexico, Arkansas and Colorado, where they would sell pepper jams and crafts. Two of their favorite shows to do were the National Finals Rodeo’s Cowboy Christmas in Las Vegas, Nev. and the National Western Stock Show in Denver, Colo.
In the off season Ernie and Barb would travel around to different tracks racing horses. In the later years Barb would stay home and Ernie continued racing his horses. He tried to retire from racing horses at the age of 80 but racing horses stayed on his mind. In 2019, Ernie missed horse racing, the track and his friends, so his friend Mark Jenson took a horse and trained it for Ernie so he could continue to chase his passion of horse racing. This would be his last horse.
Ernie loved the lord his family and his horses. Ernie is survived by his loving wife, Barbara Williams of Cortez, CO; his children, Ernest R. “Ernie” Williams (Teresa) of Dove Creek, CO, Jerry Williams (Nancy) of Thermoplis, WY, Barbie Sigler (Mike Robinson) of Fruita, CO, Harold E. Williams (Jennifer) of Blythewood, SC, Tiffanie Williams of Riverton, WY; his step-son, Perry D. Lewis (Victoria) of Mancos, CO; his sister-in-law, Joy Rasch (Brian) of Cortez, CO; 20 grandchildren and numerous great grandchildren and great great grandchildren. Ernie was preceded in death by his parents; his step-sons, Delfred James Perry, and M. Joe Lewis; and his brother, Harold Leroy Williams with whom he served in Korea, and in the same camp for part of the tour.
Funeral services will be held at the Cowboy Church in Mancos, Colo. at 10 a.m. on Saturday, December 19, 2020. Private interment will take place at Dove Creek Cemetery. Ernie will be missed by many family and friends.