Retired Winlock Police Chief Terry Williams has died at the age of 62.
“We offer our most sincere condolences to his wife Judi and the entire Williams family,” said Cowlitz-Lewis District 20, where Williams has served as commissioner since 2003, in a Facebook post announcing his death Friday morning.
Williams served in the Winlock Police Department for a total of 36 years, 16 of which he spent as the department’s chief, before his retirement in June 2015 at the age of 56.
He started his career at the young age of 14 as a search-and-rescue volunteer in Mossyrock. After receiving his criminal justice degree, he served as a police cadet with the Centralia Police Department for nearly three years before he began work as a reserve officer in Winlock in 1979, according to a previous report from the Longview Daily News.
He was first elected to represent Lewis County Fire District 7, which covered the Vader area, in 2003, before the district merged with Cowlitz Fire District 4 to become Cowlitz-Lewis County Fire District 20. He was re-elected to a six year term on the board in 2019.
Williams was transported via ambulance to the hospital on Sept. 21, where doctors identified a mass between his lungs, according to the family’s GoFundMe page. He later suffered a stroke in the hospital.
“This is a tremendous loss for his family, and for FD20,” said District 20 in a Facebook post.
“He was a great man and our hearts are heavy with his kids and all everyone to join us and keep Terry's family in our hearts and prayers,” wrote the Morton Police Department in a Facebook post.
A GoFundMe to support Williams’ family can be found at www.gofundme.com/f/8gbfd-helping-the-williams-family.