James Christopher ‘Chris’ Williams passed away peacefully on February 15 at The Grand Rehabilitation and Nursing at Pawling after a long illness.
Born in Poughkeepsie on January 1, 1953, Chris was a son of John E. and Janet P. Williams. He is survived by his son Sean and his wife, Sarah, his daughter Lauren Kenyon and her husband Jamie, and his grandchildren Keira and Naomi. He is also survived by brothers Scott (Joanne) and Matt (Beverly), sister Elizabeth Walsh (Gerry), brother-in-law Bill Stahl, his long-time companion Denise Aloia as well as several nieces, nephews, and cousins. In addition to his parents, Chris was also pre-deceased by his sister, Cindy Stahl.
Chris was a gifted athlete and filled several scrapbooks with newspaper clippings highlighting his many accomplishments. The first newspaper story that featured him was on the day after he was born as he was celebrated as the first baby born in Dutchess County in 1953.
Chris’s incredible athletic talent and versatility were on display his senior year at John Jay HS. He played football in the fall, starting the season as a wide receiver and finishing it as the starting quarterback. In the winter he ran track, but not as a sprinter like most other football players. Chris was a distance runner, and he won the conference two-mile championship. In spring track that same year he set a school record for the 3,000-meter steeplechase that stood for 45 years. He was named the Outstanding Senior Athlete at John Jay for 1971.
Later he was inducted into the Thomas D. Macrini Wappingers Sports Hall of Fame.
He attended Kansas State University, where he majored in journalism and advanced to the position of editor-in-chief of The Collegian, KSU’s daily student-run newspaper with a circulation of more than 20,000.
Chris had an amazing memory and ability to recall minute details, which made him great at trivia games and crossword puzzles. He was an avid reader, gifted writer, and excellent public speaker.
Chris was at his best when he was helping those in need. Until his health challenges made it difficult for him to do so, he could often be found helping friends and family by transporting them to and from the airport, assisting with various home projects, providing care for those in pain, or simply being a patient listener. He was the ‘favorite uncle’ of many of his sibling’s children. He will be missed.
There are no calling hours. An event celebrating Chris’s life will be held later this summer.
Arrangements are under the direction of the Horn & Thomes, Inc. Funeral Home, 83 East Main Street, Pawling, NY 12564.