|Remembering David "Doc" Williams|
by Martin Evans - email@example.com
It is with the deepest regret that we have to tell you this terrible news. Sadly, David "Doc" Williams passed away in the early hours of Tuesday morning, he slipped gently into a coma and passed away in peace and without pain.
In May this year, the doctor's did find a brain tumour. David tried to conquer this terrible illness and even in the last few weeks, he did not give up. We will remember David for a very long time, as a skydiver, in the air, on the ground, and especially as a friend.
When I started jumping in England in the early 1980's, David 'Doc' Williams was a very active competitor and mentor in RW and CRW amongst other things. Although we weren't close friends (we jumped at different DZ's mostly, and in later years, on different continents) we were friends, and I considered him as one of my early mentors in the sport.
My first contact with 'Doc' came at Weston-on-the-Green in Oxfordshire which is the home to the RAF Sport Parachute Center. After arriving there for my first trip away from my home dropzone and sporting my brand new rig (square equipped, after training on rounds but having made the minimum conversion jumps) keen to jump hard over the long weekend, I met with considerable resistance from the DZO in allowing me to jump. Despite having all the necessary documentation in hand and my equipment checked and cleared, it seemed he didn't want someone he knew nothing about jumping new and untried equipment for the first time at his DZ. How I surpassed the barriers that the DZO put in front of me would make for a rather long and uninteresting story for the reader, let me just say they were tall and wide!
While this whole situation was being played out, there was considerable interjection from this tall skinny mustachioed guy wearing glasses who, I was to find out later, was 'Doc' Williams. Every time I passed through one of the DZO's barriers I heard 'Doc' say "Good job" or "well done"! Even and in spite of my having gone to the trouble of getting the DZO from my home dropzone on the telephone to vouch for me to Weston's DZO, he (the DZO) continued to be resistant to my manifesting.
Eventually 'Doc' told him to "give it a rest" and get me on a load as, he said I'd certainly shown an "admirable persistence and should at least be given credit for my tenacity"! With 'Doc's' support and the support of others there rallied by 'Doc', the DZO relented and allowed me to manifest. That was the start of my friendship with 'Doc', and through my association with him, I was introduced to many of Britain's finest jumpers of the day. Those connections I am certain served me well in my future participation in the sport, and possibly even kept me in it!
'Doc' I thank you for your interjection on my behalf that day, and I thank you for the future you helped to create for me, both on that day and at other times further down the road. Although our meeting and contact has been minimal over the years, I am deeply saddened that we will never again share a load or a case. Rest Well, My Friend!
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