Brent Eugene Williams, 85, passed away on March 20, 2022 at home surrounded by his loving family.
Brent was born on June 25, 1936 in Malad City, Idaho to Leland and Zilpha (White) Williams.
He was raised on a ranch near 3rd Creek just outside of Malad with his six siblings. They raised crops and tended milk cows (a chore he did not enjoy). The family wintered in Malad proper during the school year so the kids could attend school. Brent played sports throughout school and graduated high school in 1954. He attended Ricks College for two years, where he lettered in track (1954-1956). He then graduated from Idaho State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Physical Education and Social Studies in 1958, and earned his Master’s in Education Administration from Utah State in 1967.
On May 29, 1961 he married Ivie Joan Porter of Salmon, Idaho. The couple began dating after Brent met his future mother-in-law at the JCPenney in Salmon, while she was working as a clerk. They initially married in Gooding, Idaho and their marriage was solemnized in the Salt Lake City L.D.S. Temple in 1971.
Brent and Joan set up home in Leadore, Idaho where they welcomed three children: Michelle, Mark, and Brenda. Brent taught several subjects in a combined classroom: US History, Government, General Science and Physical Education. He coached varsity basketball, cross country, and track, and was also Senior Class Advisor and director of the annual school play at Leadore High School. Brent had teaching and coaching stints in McDermitt, Nevada (1958-1959) and Manila, Utah (1965-1967) before moving to Evanston, Wyoming in 1967.
Brent was a teacher and a coach in the Evanston School district for 37 years, teaching physical education, health and driver’s education, and finally retiring in 2005. As a driver’s education instructor, he utilized the driving simulator trailer each summer – the only good air conditioning in town in the 1970s and early 80s, as many of his students will remember. While in Evanston, Brent and Joan welcomed four more children: Kari, Ryan, Marie and Jamie. In 1971, they bought their home on 6th Street, where they have lived for the last 50 years.
Brent is still known as “Coach Williams” to his students and athletes at Evanston High School (1967-1989) and Evanston Middle School (1989-2005). He coached Varsity Basketball, Cross Country, and Track from 1967 to 1980, as well as girls basketball and boys and girls golf. He served as the Athletic and Activities Director for EHS & DMS for twelve years.
In retirement, Brent was an avid Red Devil Sports fan. He and Joan followed the teams as they played all over the state and always promptly reported the results to their children – all of whom have long since graduated!
Brent was inducted into the Wyoming Coaches Hall of Fame in 1988 and served on their board for over 15 years.
Brent was also inducted into the Evanston Red Devil Hall of Fame in 2014.
Brent loved sports and particularly enjoyed playing golf, hunting, and camping. A member of the Purple Sage Golf Course for 50 years, he enjoyed competing in the club championship and men’s league team (School Boys) each week in the summer. He shared his passion for sports – especially golf and basketball – with all his children.
Brent spent as much time as he could at the family ranch in the summers. He especially liked driving the tractor in the fields and riding horses to deliver salt to the cattle grazing high on the range (having somewhat warmed to bovine husbandry in adulthood). It was always a special place for him and his family to spend time camping, riding horses, four wheeling, and telling stories about the dangers and calamities of growing up on the ranch.
Brent loved taking rides in the mountains of Wyoming. He spent many weeks elk hunting off the Greys River, and antelope and sage hen hunting in his Willy’s Jeep outside of Mountain View. While he did sneak in a little fishing here and there, he especially loved going out to look for “ams, rabs and four or five E” with his family.
He is survived by his loving wife Joan, and his children: Mark Elden Williams, Brenda Jo Barnes, Kari Lee (Amy) Williams, Ryan Brent (Angela) Williams, Joan Marie Williams and Jamie Diane Williams. He will also be missed by his ten grandchildren (Amber, Cassi, Alesha, Whitney, Greg, Rollie, Kori, Gracie, Greyson, and Jonah) and five great-grandchildren (Bella, Knox, Annabell, Lance, Emmet); his brothers Clyde (Louise) Williams and Carl (Jeanne) Williams; and many nieces and nephews.
He is preceded by his daughter, Lisa Michelle Williams Townsend; his parents, Leland and Zilpha; his sisters Nadine Conrad, Neva Christensen, and Selma Yearsley; and a brother, Larry Williams.
Funeral service will be on Saturday, March 26, 2022 at 11:00 a.m. in the Crandall Funeral Home. Viewing will be at the funeral home Friday evening from 6 to 8 p.m. and one hour prior to the service on Saturday.
Interment will follow in the Evanston City Cemetery.
Light Reception to follow at the Evanston Round House at 1500 W. Main Street on Saturday from 2 to 4pm.