ForeverMissed
It has been one year since Greg passed away.  This memorial website was created to preserve his memory and give others an opportunity to pay their respects.  COVID precluded a formal memorial service up to this point, but we hope to hold a casual gathering later in 2021. We will let you know those details when available.

Thanks to the contributions of family, friends, and Greg's own wonderful organization and photography skills, we have created a movie that documents his whole life.  The video is lengthy (2hr 12min) but captures his full and wonderful journey.

Life of Greg (movie link)

Updated movie link : Life of Greg (google drive)
Posted by Rita Sandler on April 25, 2021
The Williams family have lost a husband and father. Rita and I have lost a wonderful friend. Greg was a kind, empathetic individual, and a gifted writer as well as an outstanding anesthesiologist. He left the practice of medicine too soon as I always preferred him caring for my patients, and they felt the same. His wit and intelligence were subtle, but unmistakable. He left us much too early and epitomizes the song, "Only the Good Die Young". With much sympathy to Linda, the children and grandchildren.
Posted by Susy Zinn on April 24, 2021
It was an honor to work with Greg at Mesa Lutheran Hospital in the Recovery Room. He valued the concept of "team" and worked diligently to ensure every person in the preoperative arena was recognized for their contribution to the successful outcome of every patient. I was blessed to become friends with him. He was one of the most skilled anesthesiologists I've ever worked with and he never faltered in his high standards. However, Greg recognized the human frailty in all of us. I once made a medication error on a child. There was no injury, but it rocked my world as a professional. When I got home that afternoon, I had a gift bag on the table and a card. Greg bought me a bottle of wine and wrote a lengthy note saying he trusted me to take care of his patients. It made a huge impact on me. Greg also had a wonderful sense of humor, which often diffused tense situations. When I read his book "Open Heart", I felt like I was there working with Greg again. I will always miss him.
Posted by Beverly Lewnau on April 24, 2021
Greg was an honorable man; a generous, gracious, talented and humble man. It was a privilege to have known him. He was a light in life that went out much too soon. Thoughts, prayers and hugs continue for the family. He will live on in your rich, loving memories and in your hearts.
Posted by Lucy Cogswell on April 23, 2021
Justin your compilation of photos, film and music is so spot on. Thank you for sharing your family. It’s a love story like no other. 
Posted by John Flori on April 22, 2021
Justin, I have only one word for what you've done here...Magnificent!!! I laughed and cried the whole time. Your Dad was a lot more than a brother in law to me. He was a dear friend, I loved him, and I miss him. I will treasure this video. Thank you.
Posted by Marylee MacDonald on April 18, 2021
Thanks so much for putting this video together. It's wonderful to see Greg throwing a baseball, horsing around in a swimming pool, and, of course, falling in love.

I knew Greg primarily as a writer, and later, as the publisher of his novel OPEN HEART. I'm editing a collection of his short stories now, and the video reminds me how effectively his stories drew on the early chapters of his life, particularly those involving baseball, his parents, vacations at the beach, and the backyard pool.

Greg began to write later in life, and achieving the kind of recognition he did (for his fiction) is no small thing. He approached writing with the anguish of a perfectionist and wanted the story on the page to match the story in his head. Above all else, he wanted to convey the emotional truth of what had motivated him to write the story in the first place. I sometimes felt that my main role was to buck up his confidence and, if necessary, to yank a manuscript out of his hands and tell him "enough". His creativity was tremendous, but often at war with his desire that the product be as good as he could make it. Which was often in his estimation not good enough.

Greg never did anything by half-measures. When he installed his home automation system, he studied and passed the exam to be a "certified" home-automation installer. When he went fly fishing, he had to have a certain kind of reel. One afternoon, when I was visiting Flagstaff, he went into a 45-minute explanation of the pros and cons of a particular reel he'd ordered in preparation for the annual fly-fishing trip to the Bahamas. I nodded and smiled. Usually, Greg was a listener as much as a talker, but good equipment could really get him fired up.

In short, Greg was a bit of a techie. Not just a bit. He had programmed his cell phone to show the temperature, lighting, and window-and-door security on all of his houses. It was the sort of handheld device that Captain Kirk might have enjoyed on The Enterprise. And, when it came to writing, Greg took to Scrivener like the proverbial duck to water. I've known many writers who give up trying to use Scrivener after a week, but not Greg. By the time he finished OPEN HEART, he had corkboard of scenes, detailed synopses for each scene, and a color-coded cast of characters.

I can hardly believe a year has gone by since his death. He was my best editor and most trusted writing friend. Apart from the common endeavor of trying to call ourselves writers, Greg and I had much else in common. We'd both fallen in love as teenagers and married our high school sweethearts. We'd both raised four kids. We'd both graduated from Stanford. We both had sons who'd taught in Japan and married Japanese women. We'd both faced health challenges in our families and believed that it was our job as grandparents to lighten the load in whatever ways we could.

What a remarkably open, caring, and kind man he was. How much he is missed.

Leave a Tribute

 
Recent Tributes
Posted by Rita Sandler on April 25, 2021
The Williams family have lost a husband and father. Rita and I have lost a wonderful friend. Greg was a kind, empathetic individual, and a gifted writer as well as an outstanding anesthesiologist. He left the practice of medicine too soon as I always preferred him caring for my patients, and they felt the same. His wit and intelligence were subtle, but unmistakable. He left us much too early and epitomizes the song, "Only the Good Die Young". With much sympathy to Linda, the children and grandchildren.
Posted by Susy Zinn on April 24, 2021
It was an honor to work with Greg at Mesa Lutheran Hospital in the Recovery Room. He valued the concept of "team" and worked diligently to ensure every person in the preoperative arena was recognized for their contribution to the successful outcome of every patient. I was blessed to become friends with him. He was one of the most skilled anesthesiologists I've ever worked with and he never faltered in his high standards. However, Greg recognized the human frailty in all of us. I once made a medication error on a child. There was no injury, but it rocked my world as a professional. When I got home that afternoon, I had a gift bag on the table and a card. Greg bought me a bottle of wine and wrote a lengthy note saying he trusted me to take care of his patients. It made a huge impact on me. Greg also had a wonderful sense of humor, which often diffused tense situations. When I read his book "Open Heart", I felt like I was there working with Greg again. I will always miss him.
Posted by Beverly Lewnau on April 24, 2021
Greg was an honorable man; a generous, gracious, talented and humble man. It was a privilege to have known him. He was a light in life that went out much too soon. Thoughts, prayers and hugs continue for the family. He will live on in your rich, loving memories and in your hearts.
his Life
Gregory David Williams was born in San Antonio, Texas in 1954.  He grew up in Phoenix, Arizona, living next door to his future wife, Linda.  Greg and Linda were married in 1976.  Greg was a graduate of Stanford University and the University of Arizona Medical School.  He would go on to specialize in anesthesia and practice until 1999.    

Writing became Greg's second career.  He was the winner of Georgia College's 2010 Arts & Letters fiction prize. His fiction, essays, and poetry have appeared in Blue Mesa Review, Elysian Fields, American Fiction, Bosque, and the Journal of the American Medical Association.  In 2020, Greg's novel "Open Heart" was published.  Thankfully he was able to see and hold the first printing of his novel prior to his passing. 

"Open Heart" (Amazon)

Greg enjoyed fly fishing, photography, guitar, and home automation.  He was the proud father of four and is survived by 7 grandchildren.  Greg passed away in April of 2020.


Recent stories
Shared by Pamela Bail on April 22, 2021
This was beautiful to watch Justin. My take away was.......what an awesome family. I’ve known your Dad since he was in the 4th grade. Always kind, always the smartest guy in the room, and always a man of integrity. Your parent’s romance was a beautiful thing to watch happen right before our eyes! The Williams “kids” were so fortunate to have such awesome parents who loved each other and loved all of you so much. Your Dad had a beautiful life and was so proud of all of you. Thank you for sharing this with all of us who loved him too.