Gary M. Williams

Date of Birth

December 31, 1943

Date of Death

March 10, 2022

City of Death

Darby, Montana

Gary M. Williams, age 78 of Darby, Montana passed away Thursday, March 10, 2022.

Gary was born on December 31, 1943, in Santa Barbara, California to Thomas L. Williams and Kathleen D. (Dearing) Williams.
He grew up in the Santa Ynez Valley in where he was a member of FFA while attending Santa Ynez High School. His parents owned the Green Head Duck Club where he developed his phenomenal skill with a shotgun. He was equally skilled with a rifle and hunted the hills surrounding the valley for deer and any other “edible” that had the misfortune to cross his path. His parents later leased the Hilton Lakes Pack Station in the Sierras, where he worked as a hunting and fishing guide, packing the guests into the mountains by horseback and pack mules.

Gary joined the United States Army in 1966 and soon found himself on a ship headed for Vietnam. He served in Battery “B”, 2d Battalion, 94th Artillery. He earned the National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal, and the “Expert” rating with a rifle. He also received a “Letter of Appreciation” from Battery “M” 4th Battalion, 12th Marines 3d Marine Division for his “intrepidity, and unselfish courage” in extracting a Marine trapped in a burning 155mm Howitzer during a firefight with the North Vietnamese forces north of Cam Lo. He was later injured in a helicopter crash and was transferred back to the States where he spent seven months in the MHS USAH in Fort Ord, California. Upon his recovery, he received an Honorable Discharge in March 1969.

After returning home, Gary continued to work as a hunting and fishing guide. Soon thereafter, he was recruited by the Mint Casino in Las Vegas to manage their Trap and Skeet Club. During his time there he ran into Robert Petersen, Publisher of Guns and Ammo Magazine. Mr. Petersen had met Gary while shooting at the Green Head Duck Club. Shortly after their chance meeting at the gun club, Mr. Petersen asked Gary to manage his 4000-acre hunting retreat in northern Los Angeles County. Gary accepted the offer and worked for Mr. Petersen and his wife for over 20 years. During that time, he developed that ranch and another Mr. Petersen owned in San Luis Obispo County into top notch habitat for deer, ducks, quail, and dove. He spent many happy years hunting with Mr. Petersen.

Gary’s parents moved to the southern Bitterroot Valley in Montana after retirement. Gary immediately loved the area and made his home in Darby when he retired.

Gary was a member of Los Rancheros Vistadores which he joined in 1973. His other memberships and affiliations include the NRA, SCI, American Quarter Horse Association, American Mule Racing Association, the Jockey Club, United States Team Roping Championships, and various local and nationwide Gun Clubs.

Gary was preceded in death by his parents, his brother, Stephen Williams, and his daughter Holly Williams. He is survived by his wife Lynn, his daughter Heidi Williams, his son Jake Williams (Charlene), brother Tom Williams, Jr. (Mary Anne), five grandchildren, six great-grandchildren, one niece, and two nephews.

At his request, there will be no formal services. Gary was a generous donor to many causes. Therefore, in lieu of flowers, if you wish to donate to your favorite charity or the non-profit Alzheimer’s Association in his memory, the family would be forever grateful.

Condolences and memories may be shared with the family at

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