Portia Kaye Cole Williams, 79, passed away on January 2, 2024, at the St George Utah Hospital. She was born June 27, 1944, in Logan, Utah, to Vera Knudsen Cole and Vernon Pratt Cole. She was the fourth of four daughters, the baby of the family, and attended grade school in Fairview, Idaho, graduating from Preston High School. Portia grew up on a farm in Fairview and loved the outdoors with her horse and outdoor sports. After high school she attended Utah State University for two years and there met her future husband, Robert Gordon Williams. They were married in the Logan Utah Temple on July 17, 1964, and were together for nearly 60 years.
The couple moved to Las Vegas, Nevada, where Portia worked for the Colorado River Commission. She enjoyed water skiing on Lake Mead and visiting back in Idaho. They were in Las Vegas for 3 years and then moved to Salt Lake City.
Portia continued her career at Litton Industries and later for an individual living near Jackson, Wyoming. She would work from home and drive or fly to Jackson once a month. She enjoyed camping, snow skiing, and boating, especially on Lake Powell. Portia was physically fit and a gifted athlete. She was also willing to share and teach others. Many of the youth in her life, including her many nieces and nephews, can attribute their first experience waterskiing to Portia’s patient tutoring and Bob’s endless endurance on the water with their boat.
Portia found enjoyment playing games and was always willing to break out the game table with friends and could be found reading a book during any quiet moments.
She was a faithful member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and held many positions including Ward Organist and Stake Young Women’s President. Her ability to build up and strengthen others was evident in the relationships she had with them. These relationships continued long after her service had been completed. Her nickname at Girls’ Camp was “Hugs”. Everyone she encountered was the beneficiary of her love and generosity.
Portia had a spirit of adventure and the ability to organize and put into action plans to visit and spend time with friends and family all over the country. Some of Portia and Robert’s first adventures were on motorcycles. Her family marvels at the distances she would ride sitting on the back of a large Honda motorcycle hugging her dear husband and reading her latest novel. When they retired, they bought a home in St George, Utah, and later moved there permanently. She enjoyed RVing and traveled to many locations in the US and Canada. They belonged to a motorhome club where she was Membership Director for 11 years. They purchased an RV lot in Star Valley, Wyoming, and spent the summers there with golf and other outdoor activities. She also loved golfing in St George. They also belong to an RV Club in St George and have attended many rallies in the western area.
Portia was a loving devoted spouse, a kind encouraging friend, an organized and talented professional, a caring daughter, a sweet and spunky younger sister, an inspiring aunt, a beloved daughter of God, and a generational link in her family chain. She connected us to each other, and she will be honored by her family for generations to come.
She is survived by her husband, Robert Gordon Williams of Washington, Utah, her sister, Louise Cole Hodges of Grapevine, Texas, and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, Vernon and Vera Cole, sisters, Clarice Cole Neeley (Earl), Sharon Cole Johnson (Lynn), brothers-in-law, Gorden Taggart Hodges and Richard K Williams (Shirley).
The family wishes to express love and appreciation to the many friends who have filled Portia’s life with joy.
A viewing will be held Saturday, January 13, 2024, at 10:00 am - 11:30 am at Webb Funeral Home, 1005 S 800 E, Preston, Idaho, 83263.
Interment will be at the Grace Cemetery, South of Grace, Idaho, 918 Idaho ST Hwy 34.
Arrangements are made under the direction of the Spilsbury Mortuary, 110 S. Bluff St., St. George Utah.
Family and friends are invited to sign Portia’s online guest book at www.spilsburymortuary.com