David John Williams

David militaryDavid John Williams, 66, died of cancer on Thursday, November 13, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. He was born on June 1, 1948 in Ishpeming, Michigan, oldest child of Jack and Bernice Williams.

Growing up in a musical family, Dave’s love of music was evident throughout his life. After a stint in the Navy stationed on the USS America in Viet Nam, he teamed up with singer Juliann Velin Chapital, and they became a duo, performing around the UP. In December of 1973, he and Julie were married and he eventually adopted her two daughters, Serene and Simone. With the addition of George Bengston, the couple became The Julie Williams Trio, a jazz music group that traveled much of the Midwest and Canada.

Although successful, The Julie Williams Trio disbanded in favor of a less Nomadic lifestyle and a more steady paycheck. David returned to the Navy where he, with his family, was assigned to a NATO command in Portugal. After Dave attended the School of Music in Norfolk, Virginia, they moved to Naples, Italy. He played guitar in the Sixth Fleet Band which traveled all over Europe and Israel.

When Dave saw further advancement opportunities in the Russian linguistics field, the family moved to Monterrey, California, where he studied Russian at the DOD Language School.  After being stationed as a submariner in Fort Meade, Maryland, and finally as an instructor at the submarine school in Groton, Connecticut, he retired as a Navy Chief. Through all these moves, Dave continued to perform in various jazz groups.

After retirement, he collaborated and performed with his wife and other musicians, and taught music. They originally retired to their camp in Michigamme, Michigan, but the harsh winters drove them to the warmer climate of Las Vegas. He really missed his home in Michigan so he and Julie moved back to Ishpeming and opened the Old School Academy of Music. He taught music lessons and rented, sold, and repaired instruments until he was diagnosed with cancer almost two years ago. He sold his business and moved back to Las Vegas to once again escape the cold.

David is preceded in death by his parents, Jack and Bernice (Waters) Williams. He is survived by his wife, Julie Williams, their daughters Serena A. Williams of Brooklyn, NY, and Simone Chiodini, of Marquette MI, and one grandchild, Annabel D. Cole also of Brooklyn. He is also survived by his three sisters; Janice (Doug) Johanson of Las Vegas, NV, Mary (Chris) Stevenson of Orem, UT, and Patti (Mike) Drake of Provo UT, nineteen nieces and nephews, and numerous (42) grand- nieces and nephews.

Services will be held at the LDS Chapel, 3900 E. Viking Rd in Las Vegas, NV, 89121 on Saturday, November 29th at 11:00 am. Visitation will start at 10:00 where friends may come and offer condolences and share memories with Julie and the family. The burial will be sometime after the Michigan snow thaws and we will all honor Dave and celebrate his life at services and a burial next summer in Michigamme, Michigan.  Flowers/cards may be sent to 4341 Seville St., Las Vegas, NV, 89121.

9 Comments. Leave new

  • We certainly miss this wonderful guy!

    • John M. Bengtson
      November 21, 2014 2:01 am

      Rest In Peace, Old Friend. Dave & I were great friends from cub scouts on. His intelligence and outlook on life continually amazed me. His music skills were outstanding. See you in the hereafter Dave.

  • Dawn (Johnson) Evans
    November 21, 2014 6:40 am

    He will be so missed. We loved his contribution to the Praise Band at church. I pray that God holds you close during these times.

  • Julie, my deepest sympathies to you and your family. I remember with great fondness the few times that I was able to visit with you and Dave. Take care of yourself.

  • Pat and Bruce Lindholm
    November 21, 2014 12:02 pm

    Dave will be greatly missed. We so enjoyed living next door to Dave and Julie in Groton and getting to know them. Surprising you have to live in CT to find out that our mothers were great friends! (Julie and Pat’s). We think of you often and will keep you all in our prayers.

  • Christine Bengtson Hissong
    November 21, 2014 7:16 pm

    Dave will be fondly remembered for his musical talent and many contributions to the world of music. My memory is especially warm because of his association with my brother, George, who can now jam with Dave on the other side. Rest in peace, Dave, and keep on making music! Know that you had significant impact on so many. Sending prayers of comfort and peace to Julie and the Williams family as we celebrate the life of a good man.

  • Sorry to heard about David he was a good man and a good friend he will be greatly missed. Anything you need just ask. thinking of you Mike and Bev

  • Michael and Connie Filippini
    November 26, 2014 1:03 am

    Julie Our Deepest Sympathies to you and your family. May the Lord look after you and care for David. May he forever rest in Peace.

  • What a loss. I was one of his students. I had to stop due to carpal tunnel but really missed my lessons with him. I was hoping to go back now that my hands are better but found this. So sad. He was a really nice guy.


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