George Williams Jr., Central Class of 1948, was born in the Pueblo home of his parents on August 8, 1930. He was named George Rufus Williams, but he only uses George R. Williams. He was known as Junior because his father's name is was also George. His given name was George Lounis Williams.
The family lived in Beulah from 1934 to 1942. His father, George Williams Sr. was hired to supervise Civilian Conservation Corps workers at Pueblo Mountain Park in Beulah. George Junior was present and observed construction of the many projects the CCC and WPA crews did during the family's time in Beulah.
George used horses for recreation and transportation. Like many others who attended rural schools, he rode a horse to and from school. After we moved to Pueblo, he and his parents were active in Pueblo Saddle Club.
The City Park Golf Course and the numerous WPA projects that used native stone for numerous buildings and facilities in the urban parks were all completed when George moved to Pueblo. The 1911 model C.W. Parker carousel had been moved from Lake Minnequa Park by then.
During the 1950s and 1960s George had the unpleasant experience of helping retrieve the bodies of four young people who drowned in City Park facilities. This made him an avid supporter of projects to build modern swimming pools in Pueblo's parks and the water safety and recreational programs they provide. Other than circulating petitions and helping explain the need for these pools, George was never involved with, or organized, a bond issue to pay for their construction.
The overall supervision of Mountain View Cemetery and the development of Annex #2 were part of George's responsibilities, but he never did much hands on work at the cemetery. When the City Council made the operation of Mountain View Cemetery a part of the Parks Department function there had been over 20,000 burial sites sold without a provision for perpetual care. It took many years to build an endowment fund adequate to provide that care. After all the efforts made to ensure all graves in Mountain View Cemetery receive proper care, George was very disappointed to see the cemetery and those funds turned over to a private operator.
When the City acquired the North Side Cemeteries Masonic, Odd Fellows, Pueblo County, Pueblo # 3 and # 4) - now known as the Pioneer Cemeteries – George supervised the cleaning and restoration of those cemeteries. He also spent a great deal of work and personal time helping rebuild the records of burials in all five cemeteries.
During his Junior and Senior years at Central High School George worked a 5:00-10:30 pm shift at the Pueblo Municipal Airport on Prairie Ave. In the fall of 1948, he was one of the employees of the Parks and Streets Departments sent to the old Pueblo Army Air Base to help with its conversion into the Pueblo Memorial Airport. He was never in charge of either airport or had any major responsibilities there.
On a more positive note, George would like to say that he had a wonderful 37 year career with the Pueblo Parks and Recreation Department and because of his work situation, volunteer efforts, and association with people from all segments of the community, we were able to improve the quality of life for Pueblo residents in many ways.