Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

James Harvey Williams Sr.

THREE LAKES, Wis. - James Harvey Williams Sr. passed away at his home in Three Lakes on Oct. 20, 2022.

He was born April 24, 1943, in Watersmeet, Michigan, the eldest son of Tory Williams and Lillian Marie Polar.

Jim's early years saw him attending school at Assinins Orphanage in Baraga, Michigan, Holy Childhood Residential School in Harbor Springs, Michigan, and Boysville in Clinton, Michigan, where he earned his high school diploma.

After high school, he came back to Watersmeet where he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served from 1961 to 1967. After working a short time in Milwaukee, he returned home. In 1980 he became employed with the U.S. Forest Service, working in timber until his retirement in 2003. Never one to sit around idle, Jim contracted timber work until 2019.

Jim enjoyed all things that involved his Native American heritage, including pow wows, Sundance and Big Drum ceremonies. Jim loved singing, drumming, laughing, learning and teaching. His life was filled with his native culture, but he found time to travel around and experience so many other things. Because of his early years, Jim lost most of his native tongue. He was fortunate to regain some of it back in the last eight years through the generosity of his tribe and the help of his cousin, who was able to get a local language instructor to teach an online class. Language revitalization was very important to him. Jim had many friends both in the United States and Canada, whose friendship he valued.

Jim is survived by his wife of nearly 20 years, Nancy Major; his son, James H. (Toni) Williams Jr .; daughters, Jeanie McGeshick, Vickie (Joe) Williams, Lilly Ann Williams and stepdaughter, Laura (Rob) Waldusky; sisters, Gertrude McGeshick, Linda Williams, Lucy Williams and Joann Williams; brothers, Tom Williams Sr., Lawrence (Jackie) Williams and Warren Williams; 20 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren with one more on the way.

He was preceded in death by his parents; sisters, Alice Polar, Mable Williams and Loretta Williams; and brothers, Richard Williams, Tory Williams and Milan Williams.

Jim lived a life well lived and will be dearly missed by many.

Native rites were held at the Northern Waters Casino Convention Hall Saturday, Oct. 22, beginning at 5 p.m .; and continued at the hall on Sunday, Oct. 23, at 10 a.m. Burial took place at the Lac Vieux Desert Indian Village down at "Williams Landing."

The Cane Funeral Home-Bruce Crossing Chapel is assisting the family.