Williams has played and worked with airplanes in some form or fashion nearly his whole life. So retiring from a long legal career focused on aviation seemed to lead naturally to another aviation-related position: selling parts for Yingling Aviation.
Williams says he helps Yingling with legal work “from time to time” and might even sit in on board meetings. “But, generally speaking, I spend my time in the parts department. I deal with all kinds of people calling from all over the country.”
Williams, 64, grew up in and around Tulsa, restoring old airplanes with his father before serving four years in the U.S. Air Force. He taught at Tulsa’s Spartan School of Aeronautics before obtaining degrees in history and political science from Southwestern College in Winfield.
He earned his law degree from Washburn University and moved to Wichita a few years later to work with a lawyer who was general counsel for Cessna. “I was already a pilot and an aircraft mechanic, so I had that background,” he said.
From 1984 until his retirement at the end of 2010, he worked for the Stinson Morrison Hecker law firm, specializing in aviation matters.
Williams and his wife, Barbara, have four children, eight grandchildren and one great-grandson. He’s a visiting – or “supply” – pastor for churches that need one, teaches an online course for Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and still restores airplanes, although he no longer flies them.
In short, he’s thoroughly enjoying his non-retirement.
“Just working right with the aviation industry and having the freedom to go and pursue these things, like being a supply pastor and preaching at these little churches … I administered communion to my grandchildren on Easter Sunday, and that’s a mighty fine thing.”