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Leland Harrold Williams, 86

August 2, 2012

Leland Harrold Williams, 86, of Hayes, Va., went to be with his Lord on July 29, 2012.

He was born Jan 5, 1926, in Punxsutawney, a son of H. Merrill and A. Winifred Deemer Williams.

Since April 15, 1954, he was married to Joan Lois Henkel of Pittsburgh.

In January of 1944, Leland enlisted in the Army Air Corps and served in the 305th Bombardment Group, 422nd Squadron, as a B17 bomber tail-gunner.

Following the completion of World War II, he served as an aerial photographer for Project “Casey Jones,” helping to create a photomap of Europe and Northern Africa. He completed his tour of duty with the Air Corps in March 1946.

Under the GI bill, Leland completed his bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Pittsburgh. Following his graduation, Leland took the reins of the family business, Williams Sports Center.

Leland was a skilled hunter and fisherman, and shared his love of the outdoors with his customers and family. He was known for his quiet, good-natured manner and his sense of humor.

Upon his retirement from the sporting goods business, Leland continued to hunt, fish, read and play with his grandchildren.

He was a dedicated member of the First United Methodist Church of Punxsutawney until 2006, when he and his wife, Joan, moved to Paso Robles, Calif., to be closer to family members. Since December 2010, Leland and Joan had lived in Hayes, Virginia.

In addition to his wife, surviving relatives include five daughters, five grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

His immediate surviving family members include daughters Sally Karadeema and husband David of Hayes, Va., Susan Service and husband John of Springfield, Va., Wendy Neal and husband Jerry of Suffolk, Va., Eileen Rossman and husband Allan of Arroyo Grande, Calif., and Jennifer Decious and husband Cris of Minburn, Iowa.

Grandchildren include Melanie Tinsley and husband Mark of Lynchburg, Va.; Joel Karadeema and wife Beth of Omaha, Neb., and Elijah, Noah and Grace Decious of Minburn, Iowa.

Great-grandchildren include Tyler, Aaron and Cana Tinsley, and Gage Karadeema.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by brothers Roger and Gordon Williams; and a great-granddaughter, Rylee Karadeema.

Condolences may be registered at

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