Frances Vesta Williams

Frances Vesta Williams, 93, died on April 1, 2020, in Ketchikan.

She was born Frances Vesta Burton on Jan. 22, 1927, in Hidden Inlet.

She attended school at the Wrangell Institute and Mount Edgecombe High School.

She was married on Sept. 15, 1948, in Ketchikan.

Mrs. Williams was a lifelong Ketchikan resident.

She worked in the fish egg house at the Whitney Packing Co., and then as a nurse’s aide at Ketchikan General Hospital. Alongside her sister Nellie, she worked in the cannery in the 1980’s.

Her family writes that “she was a spawn-on-kelp permit holder for 15 years and looked forward to this fishery every spring.”

Mrs. Williams was a member of St. Elizabeth’s Episcopal Church and St. John’s Episcopal Church.

She baked pies for the St. John’s annual July 4 Pie Sale fundraiser and served both on the Altar Guild and as an altar server at St. John’s for many years.

She was a member of the Sealaska Corp., Ketchikan Indian Community, the Veterans of Foreign Wars Ladies Auxiliary, the Nisaga’a Tribal Council, Daxhan Wilp (House), Gingolx (Kincolith) Band and the Gisk’ahaast (Killer Whale) tribe.

She volunteered for many years at the Salvation Army Soup Kitchen.

Mrs. Williams enjoyed photography, working in her garden, quilting and cross-stitching, and talking with people who passed by her home.

“She was an avid fisherwoman and usually caught bigger fish than her husband, Art,” her family writes. “She had her fish smoker going all summer long and enjoyed jarring fish and sharing with friends and relatives. She was an excellent cook and loved family dinners.”

Mrs. Williams was preceded in death by her husband, Arthur Williams Sr.; sister, Nell Cross; brothers, Reggie Dangeli, Ben Burton, Morris Haldane and Max Haldane; and parents, Eliza and Herbert Burton.

She is survived by her daughter, Rachel Williams (Rudy Johansen); son, Arthur Williams Jr. (Laurel); grandchildren, James Tissychy, Arthur Williams III, Jennifer Williams (Seth Marrs) and Alex Williams (Brittany Youngberg); great-grandchildren, Kiana Willimams, Kali Alvarez, Arthur Williams IV, Kegan Edenshaw, Isaiah Williams, Ashton Marrs and Peyton Marrs; and relatives in Alaska, Canada, Washington and California.

A celebration of life will be held at a later date.

Mrs. Williams’ remains will be interred at Bayview Cemetery.