Obituary for James Lee
Oregonian, The (Portland, OR)
April 12, 1989
Photo of JAMES LEE WILLIAMS.
Edition: Fourth Section: Local Stories
Former Portland Athlete dies at 51
James Lee ``Precious'' Williams of San Diego,
a former Portland high school athlete who began his career
as a busboy and rose to become food and beverage director
for the Red Lion Inn/Jantzen Beach, died of complications
arising from leukemia Monday in a San Diego hospital.
Funeral will be at 11 a.m. Saturday in Mt.
Olivet Baptist Church. Mr. Williams was 51.
He was born July 29, 1937, in Austin, Texas,
and moved in 1943 to Portland, where he attended Guild's
Lake and Chapman schools and graduated from Failing School.
He was a graduate of Benson Polytechnic High School, where
he was a member of the football team. He was voted ``most
outstanding back player'' at the Shriners All Star Game in
He attended the University of Oregon on an
athletic scholarship for about a year before enlisting in
the U.S. Air Force. He served four years in the Air Force
until his discharge in the late 1950s.
Mr. Williams began his 27-year career in the
hotel business as a busboy for the old Lloyd Center
Sheraton. He worked his way up to banquet manager and was
employed in that capacity at the time the hotel became the
Red Lion Inn/Lloyd Center.
He then went to work as food and beverage
director for the Red Lion Inn/Jantzen Beach, a position he
held until 1986, when he moved to San Diego. He had worked
as a new car salesman in California for about a year. At the
time of his death, Mr. Williams was working as a sales
manager for a Nissan dealership.
Burial will be in Willamette National
Submitted by L. Kemp