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In Memory of Charles "Gary" Williams

Created by Betsy Williams

Charles "Gary" Williams

Charles “Gary” Williams, 68, of Vero Beach, Florida and Duxbury died Monday, May 24, after complications from sarcoidosis. In addition to his wife of 40 years, Beth, he is survived by his three boys, Jay, Josh and Nick; his four siblings, James “Jim,” Betsy, Susan, and Mark; and his four grandchildren, Avery, Garrett, Kathryn and one bun in the oven due in June 2021.

Gary was born on March 24, 1953 in Boston, to William Stark and Elizabeth Hollings head “Holly” (James) Williams, and grew up in Ridgewood, New Jersey. In 1975, he earned his bachelor of arts degree in English and economics from Gettysburg College in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, where he was a varsity soccer star and avid member of the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity, also better known by local law enforcement as the “Fiji House.” He’s a legacy from Harrisburg!

After starting out as a newspaperman and reporter, Gary – an accomplished writer and natural people person – began a 30-year career as a financial services executive. He worked across sales, marketing and management for both large and boutique firms including MetLife, Fidelity Investments and DG Capital Management, where he served as Chief Marketing Officer and a member of the management team. At DG, he grew the business to more than $3 billion at its peak in 2008, increasing their institutional client base to over 50 relationships. In 2013, he retired to focus on his golf game and his duties as a loving grand father, aka “Poppy.” He often joked that all of his retired friends were racking up too many hole-in-ones, so he had to catch up!

On Sept. 12, 1981, he married Beth Ellen Clegg at the Chebeague Island Inn in Maine. They met in Portland, while both worked at Unum Insurance. Beth had seen him before, and thought he was cute, but was a little shy. Their long-time friend, Connie “Scully” Palys, decided to give her a push – literally — knock ing Beth into him at Kayo’s bar. The rest was history. They raised three sons, Jay, Josh and Nick, and were always devoted to each other. Their nickname “Norm” came about after they laughed over a local commercial for Norman-Lincoln Mercury that had the tagline “Okay, Norman!” with a heavy Maine accent. (If you know, you know.) They called each other “Norm” lovingly for decades.

Gary had many passions – golf, cooking, boating, travel, culture and music – and loved more than anything else being surrounded by his large family. He was a member of Duxbury Yacht Club and Quail Valley Golf Club in Vero Beach, and was fortunate enough to play some of the most famous golf courses in the world: Kapalua, Cypress Point, Pebble Beach, Spy glass, Spanish Bay, Torrey Pines and Pinehurst in the U.S.; and Old Head, Ballybunion, Waterville, Tralee and Dooks in Ireland.

He was a grill master, who was famous for his ribs, Sunday night steaks, and beef tenderloin. He owned and managed a Grady White boat for years, and loved to troll for stripers – striped bass – in Duxbury Bay. He enjoyed riding more than driving, though, and would allow his sons to navigate during cocktail cruises. He was a diehard sports fan, with ties to many New England teams, although his allegiances were often conflicted in the fall as two of his sons attended SEC powerhouses – Jay at Auburn University and Josh at University of Alabama-Tuscaloosa. At the top of their Christmas tree sat a “house divided” plaque that tilted higher for the team that had bragging rights that year.

A natural patriarch, Gary hosted annual holidays and planned large trips, including a 2013 visit to a villa in Tuscany to celebrate his 60th birthday. He was known for his big smile, legendary moustache, and stiff cocktails. (His friends called him “Dr. Death.”) He took good, natural care of everyone around him – a gift he has passed on to his three boys, who have all become nurturers and good dads in their own right.

One thing no one could deny is that Gary was beloved by everyone who knew him, and he and Beth kept in touch with a lifetime of friends from their time living in different parts of the country, including Chicago, Illinois; De von, Pennsylvania, where the three boys were born; Sudbury; Alpharetta, Georgia, and Dux bury, where they have lived for 25 years.

Thank you for your donation in memory of Gary.

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