Mervyn Duane Williams’ name, etched in tiny letters on a microchip, will be blasting off to Mars in 2026. Merv would have preferred that he, not just his name, travel to the Red Planet but numerous circumstances prevented that, not least of which was his passing at age 70 on December 5, 2021.
Merv, known as “Scooter” since childhood, had a heart for adventure and big dreams. A native son of North Kitsap, Merv grew up in Kingston playing multiple sports, wishing he wasn’t in school, spending time on his grandma and grandpa’s farm, fishing in the Puget Sound, and camping with his family at the Hamma Hamma River. Like many young people craving independence and a fresh start, he shot out of Kingston like a rocket ship the first chance he got, which was at age 17. He landed in far-flung places like Germany and Vietnam, where he experienced, as an army medic, the horrors of war that would shape the rest of his life. Proud of his Welsh heritage, he never said no to Welsh cakes or beer. A fan of science fiction, Merv would have gladly greeted extraterrestrials and hopped aboard their ship for a trip into space if the opportunity had presented itself. Sadly, it did not. Merv instead satisfied his wanderlust with numerous road trips and vacations around the American West and Hawaii and a grand adventure to New Zealand and Australia.
Merv’s singular joy in life was his children and grandchildren. He spoke with them multiple times a week and they visited frequently. He hosted “gramping,” camping at grandpa’s, when his family would camp in his yard on warm summer nights, barbecue dinner, and talk. Protective of his family, Merv offered on more than one occasion to stay behind and go down fighting the zombie hordes so his family could escape when talk turned, as it sometimes did, to strategizing how to survive a zombie apocalypse. While protective of his family, Merv was also a competitive person and had no problem beating them at any game presented. He didn’t see the fun (for him!) in letting children win a game just because they are children. His children and grandchildren can rest assured that if they ever beat him at bowling or cards or even Candyland, those were legitimate wins and not just an adult pretending to lose. The last few years of his life he enjoyed a friendly potato-growing competition with his daughter. You can guess who won.
The world was not always kind to Merv but that didn’t stop him from being kind to others. He helped out where he could, how he could. He was funny, spirited, and opinionated. Family gatherings always involved a lot of laughter. He gave generously of his time to his family and friends. Even toward the end of his life, when he was increasingly unwell and often uncomfortable, he did not hesitate to ride around in a golf cart in the cold watching his granddaughter play in a golf tournament. He made the effort and never missed a chance to say “I love you.” What a gift.
Merv is survived by his two children, Alethea and Seth, their spouses, his grandchildren, Mira and Ossian, his friend and ex-wife Charla, his siblings Ron, Don, Diane, and Jackie, an extended family of cousins, nieces, and nephews, and his friends. Merv did not want a memorial service. He would certainly be pleased if you wanted to remember him with a donation to an organization that supports veterans or if you just look up at the heavens now and then and imagine him out there soaring among the stars.