Joseph Rulon Williams
Former State Auditor, Joe R. Williams, died Monday, May 10, at a Boise hospital. Williams, who served state government longer than any elected official in Idaho history, died of heart failure. He was 89.
Born to a pioneer family in Samaria, Oneida County, Joe began his education there and continued at Pocatello, Boise High, and the University of Idaho.
He served over three decades as State Auditor and held statewide elective office longer than anyone in Idaho history. Williams served as Deputy State Auditor for two prior State Auditors.
A recipient of many national honors, Williams was elected Vice President and later President of the National Association of State Auditors, Comptrollers and Treasurers. He was Honorary President of the National Conference of State Social Security Administrators. He received a Patriotic Service Award from the U.S. Treasury Department. The YMCA recognized Joe’s outstanding participation in youth programs with its “Service to Youth Award”. He was honored as a distinguished citizen by the Idaho Statesman. He was the first man to be elected as a PTA President in Boise and also served as State Commissioner of Softball.
Over the strong opposition of several elected state officials, Williams had the foresight to introduce computerized data processing to state government. He took great pride in this accomplishment and enjoyed observing the tremendous growth in this technology.
His greatest pride and satisfaction was in carrying out the fiscal responsibilities of the State and in ensuring that the school children in Idaho would gain maximum benefit from Idaho’s endowment trust lands.
He left a lasting legacy of devotion, tenacity, and compassion which will serve as a model for all with the courage to seek public office. Survivors include his wife, Lauraine Williams of Boise; four sons and their wives, Joseph Roger Williams, and Bruce Williams both of Boise, Neil Morse and Linda Williams of Idaho Falls, and Milt and Kim Williams of Boise; three daughters and their husbands, Linda Lou and Walker Root of Salt Lake City, Utah, Susan Jolaine and Neal Winkler of Council, and Kristin and Allen King of Idaho Falls; 14 grand-children; and nine great-grandchildren; one brother, Lewis M. Williams of Boise; one sister, Sara Mae Landers of Renton, Washington; and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents; one son, Gregory Lewis Williams and seven brothers and sisters.
Funeral services were held Friday, May 14, at noon in the Bogus Basin Rd. LDS. Chapel. Burial followed in the Cloverdale Cemetery.
Joseph Rulon Williams