Key Williams

Key Williams, age 90, of New Rockford, ND, died Thursday, October 21, 2010 at his home in New Rockford, ND.

Key Wilford Williams was born October 10, 1920, in rural Brantford, ND, to John L. and Clara (Hentges) Williams. He attended country school through the eighth grade in rural Brantford, then attended school in Brantford during his freshman through junior years, finally graduating from the Benson County Agricultural School in Maddock, ND. Key readily supplied stories of very cold uphill both ways horse rides to school, both in rural Brantford and also to the town of Brantford. Regarding his one year at Maddock he said, “My Dad told me I was going to school in Maddock, so I went.?

Key was drafted into the Army on November 25, 1942, and served until March 29, 1946. He trained at Fort Snelling in Minnesota and Fort Sill in Oklahoma, ultimately being stationed in the Aleutian Islands off the coast of Alaska. His military service was a very proud part of his life providing many stories that he was eager to recount.

Key and Muriel Thykeson of rural Finley, ND, were married June 21, 1953 in Puyallap, Washington after only one in-person meeting and mail correspondence during and after his military service. Muriel was fond of saying that she returned his correspondence and ultimately married him because she felt sorry for him due to the fact that he had a hole in his sweater at their one in-person meeting. To this union, one son, Steven was born.

After honeymooning in Washington state, Key and Muriel and Muriel’s mother, Delia returned to North Dakota to reside on a rented farmstead and land approximately one mile north of Brantford. Muriel recounted the story that Key wasn’t certain that having his mother-in-law residing with them was a good idea but over time warmed to the concept when he realized that Delia sided with him in disagreements the couple had.

Key and Muriel lived and farmed near Brantford until 1959, when they began a farmstead nine miles east of New Rockford. There they raised small grains, milked cows and raised a few beef cattle. Land ownership was very important to Key and he was very proud of the land that he was able to acquire throughout his farming career. Key semi-retired in 1990, renting out the farm and pursuing his interest in working with scrap metal and buying and selling cars and trucks. Muriel died on November 7, 1996.

Always seeing himself as the adventurous type, at age 81, Key purchased a Harley Davidson Motorcycle trike.

Key is survived by his son, Steven (Angela), Wahpeton, ND, and two granddaughters, Paige and Lindsay. He is also survived by two sisters, Helen Sampson, New Rockford and Hazel Gade, Canoga Park, CA.

Key was preceded in death by his wife, two sisters, five brothers, three half-brothers and three half-sisters.

Dad, you will be missed for your thoughtful, caring ways, and for your stories that we had heard on many occasions, but wanted you to tell again. We know that you are now at home with the Lord, and He has said, “Well done my good and faithful servant.? Rest well Dad!


Funeral Service: Evangelical Free Church, New Rockford, ND

Date and Time: Thursday, October 28, 2010 at 2:00 PM

Interment: Grace City Cemetery, Grace City, ND

Posted Condolences:


Name: Leslie Dockter

Date: 10-23-2010

Message: You came into my life and now you're gone too soon. You were a good friend to me. Just like a Grandpa to Ashley and me. We will miss you so much. With love my friend.