Cover photo for Ralph "Chris" Christopher Williams's Obituary
Ralph "Chris" Christopher Williams Profile Photo
1951 Ralph "Chris" 2024

Ralph "Chris" Christopher Williams

August 30, 1951 — June 5, 2024

Independence

Ralph Christopher Williams, known affectionately as Chris, was a dedicated teacher whose passion for photography left an indelible mark on the lives of those he touched. Born on August 30, 1951 to Ralph and Pat (Drake) Williams, in Kansas City, Missouri, Chris passed away peacefully on June 5, 2024 at his home in Independence, Missouri. Throughout his career, Chris shared his love for the art of photography with countless students. His teaching extended beyond textbooks; he encouraged his students to see the world through their unique lenses, fostering creativity and curiosity. Additionally, Chris found joy in coaching basketball and tennis, where he imparted not just skills but also invaluable life lessons. Chris's thirst for knowledge led him to acquire degrees in photography, business, and social studies. 

His expertise in photography was not only evident in the classroom but also through the remarkable landscapes he captured. His work graced the pages of prestigious publications such as National Geographic, Missouri Conservation Magazine, and Kansas Conservation Magazine. Beyond his professional accomplishments, Chris was renowned for his warm and loving nature. He exuded a zest for life that was infectious to all around him. An avid traveler, Chris explored all 50 states and every continent except Australia, always with a camera in hand to document his adventures. When not traveling, Chris would be found playing tennis, fishing, or reveling in the great outdoors—activities that brought him solace and inspiration. Chris's family held a special place in his heart. He considered them integral to every chapter of his life story. In times of joy or challenge, they were his steadfast companions.

 Chris' passing is preceded by his father; Ralph Williams, father-in-law; Gus Jansen, mother-in-law; Linda Jansen, step father; Eldon Brown, brothers-in-laws; Dan Jansen, Gary Jansen, Leroy Jansen, and August Jansen Jr. Chris will be deeply missed by his wife, Mary Williams, and their children, Amy (Courtney) Williams and their children, Charleston and Avett of Lee’s Summit, Missouri; Ryan (Sarah) Williams and their children, Dawson, Claire and Nolan of Greensboro, North Carolina, Jessica (Kenny) Payne and their children Emma, Mary Anne and Samantha of Edgerton, Missouri; his mother, Pat Williams of Santa Fe, New Mexico; sister, Dr. Elaine Williams (Dr. Paul Rock) of Santa Fe, New Mexico; and brother, David (GiGi) Williams of Chiangmai, Thailand and his children Jackie and Michelle. Chris is also survived by his step mother Marge (Bowen) Williams as well as his brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, Sister Linda Jansen SSND, Lou Jansen, Virgil (Diane) Jansen, Judy (Arnold) Huelsmann, Helen Jansen,Pat (Gay) Jansen; Philip Jansen; Susan (Dennis) Wagner; and Tim (Melissa) Jansen, and numerous nieces and nephews. 

Services to honor and remember Chris will be held at The Gathering Baptist Church in Independence, Missouri. A visitation is scheduled for June 14th from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM, followed by a memorial service on June 15th from 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Missouri Department of Conservation (https://mdc.mo.gov/contact-engage/donate) in his honor.
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Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Friday, June 14, 2024

6:00 - 8:00 pm (Central time)

The Gathering Baptist Church

4505 S Noland Rd, Independence, MO 64055

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Memorial Service

Saturday, June 15, 2024

Starts at 11:00 am (Central time)

The Gathering Baptist Church

4505 S Noland Rd, Independence, MO 64055

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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