O.V. Williams was born on July 5, 1936 in Wichita, Kansas. The first born son of Donald Vaigh Williams and Esther Eva La Rosa. The family farmed north of South Haven until the death of his father (10-23-1943) in a car wreck. O.V. then lived in Wichita until high school when he decided to live with his paternal grandparents, Ona (Owen) and Grace Williams. He attended Caldwell High School, graduating with the Class of 1954. In January 1955, O.V., his cousin Raymond May and friends Everett Sears and Bill Hardesty enlisted in the US Navy. O.V. served 30 years and retired in 1984 as Senior Chief Petty Officer.
After retiring, he worked as a Civil Servant 10 more years in the same Navy laboratory. O.V. met Lola Fry who was also in the navy, in Washington DC. They married on November 14, 1959. Lola served in the US Navy from 1955 to 1959. Lola was a great shipmate for O.V.’s life. They had been married 63 years at the time of his death.
During his career O.V. served on 5 Aircraft Carriers: USS Bennington CV-20; USS Philippine Sea CV-47; USS Nimitz CVN-68 (nuclear powered), USS Constellation CV A-64; and the USS Enterprise CVN-65 (nuclear powered). His service took him to Japan, Hong Kong, Thailand, Singapore, Australia, Pakistan, Philippines, Vietnam, Italy, Spain, France, Israel, Tunisia, Cuba, Jamacia and the Virgin islands. His longest foreign duty stations were Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, 2 ½ years (was a closed base before the Castro Revolution) and Yokosuka, Japan, 5 years.
He was a sea going sailor before, during, and after the Viet Nam war. State-side he was stationed in San Diego, CA; Bremerton, WA; Washington DC: and his last duty station was Pensacola, FL, Naval Air Station.
While in middle school, O.V. had his own photography laboratory. When he enlisted, the Navy trained him to become a professional photographer. During the time O.V. served, photography was one of the most desired rates in the Navy, and getting promoted after E-5 was no easy thing. Some years no promotions were made at all at the E-7, E-8 and E-9 level. O.V. worked hard and eventually was selected at the E-8 level. (PHCS) Photographer’s Mate Senior Chief. Upon retirement, his unit presented O.V. a plaque adorned with an Anchor and a brass ship’s bell with an engraved “PHCS O.V. Workaholic Williams Fair Winds and Following Seas, you exemplify a True Shipmate – We Will Miss You”
O.V. is survived by his wife Lola, his brother Donald Williams, his sister-in-law Carolyn Williams, and cousins Ted Williams of Wichita, Beverly May-Fritzler of Sterling, CO, Patti Williams-Frenette of Dallas, TX, Craig Shank of Eureka, KS, Laura Shank and Carla Beth Shank of Wichita, KS.
Graveside services will be held at 1:00 p.m. Saturday, March 4, 2023 at the Caldwell City Cemetery, Caldwell, Kansas.
Memorials may be made to Memory Services at Presbyterian Manor or to the Alzheimer's Association and sent in care of the mortuary.