Obituary of Leaster Garland Williamson

1929 – 2023


Leaster Garland Williamson affectionally, known as LG was born in Varney, West Virginia on March 10, 1929, to Leck and Virginia Williamson and died on August 21, 2023, at the age of 94. He was the oldest of eight siblings who have all passed.

LG grew up during the Depression and learned the value of hard work. At the age of 15, he left home in the summers and worked on the railroad to help bring money into the family. During his work on the railroad, he climbed towers to change lights and worked as a cook’s assistant.

LG joined the Army Air Corps in 1945 at 16 during World War II and transitioned to the Air Force in 1947, later serving in both the Korean and Vietnam Wars. He started his career in Life Support and Logistics managing parachutes, clothing dispersants, and anything else needed at Malstrom Air Force Base, Montana. He quickly moved up in positions and ranks in the Air Force. He was stationed at numerous bases such as Frankfurt Germany, and Okinawa Japan, and retired from the Strategic Air Command (SAC) Headquarters at Offutt Air Force Base in Omaha, Nebraska. He retired with honors after 30 distinguished years at the rank of Chief Master Sergeant.

The majority of his military career was in the Inspector General Office for Life Support at SAC. He was recruited to develop a sea survival program during the Vietnam War stationed in Okinawa, Japan. This program was developed for pilots who were shot down during the Vietnam War and enabled them to survive in both the ocean and jungles until they could be rescued by military personnel. After his retirement, he attended the Life Support reunions until Covid 19. As the oldest surviving Chief Master Sergeant, he was lovingly referred to as the Grandfather of Life Support.

In 1975 he got bored and went to work at Reams Sprinkler Supply. He started by organizing the stock room, learned to do sprinkler design, and ended up years later running the branch in Omaha. He finally, retired for good in Florida where he acquired numerous friends and helped all his neighbors fix their sprinkler systems. One of his joys was calling relatives who live in the cold north country to tease them about the warmer weather and not paying any state taxes in Florida.
He met the love of his life at the age of 18. He would tell his children that the first time he saw her he thought she was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. The 75 years they shared was an honor to witness. Irene was a wonderful military spouse. He would come home and tell her we are moving and she would say okay and look forward to their next venture. They had three children. His goal as a parent was to teach his children to believe in themselves, work hard, and keep trying until they achieve their goals. He aimed to get them college-educated so he wouldn’t have to support them.

As a young man, he enjoyed hunting and fishing as a way to provide for his family. He later taught his sons to hunt and fish. Many stories and much laughter were shared through their escapades.
He was preceded in death by his son Daniel. He is survived by his loving wife Irene, son Charles, daughter-in-law Diane, and daughter Susan. He was blessed with six grandchildren that he adored. Drew Lolato, Nichole Tate, Corinne Frederickson, Sara Saar, Danielle and Grant Williamson, and 15 great-grandchildren.

Internment will be held at Barrancus National Cemetery on 15 Sept at 0930. 

A reception will follow the Committal Service 1100-1300 at “The Pointe” 1255 Country Club Rd Gulf Breeze, FL 32563.