Former NID director dead at age 84
Special to The Union
Former Nevada Irrigation District director R. Paul Williams died Wednesday at home in rural Lincoln, Placer County. He was 84.
With almost seven elected terms in office starting in 1981, Williams was the longest-serving director in NID’s 89-year history. He stepped down in April 2009 after 27 years as the elected representative serving NID Division IV in northern Placer County.
Williams’ successor, NID Division IV Director Jim Bachman, called Williams “a tremendous individual, an absolute pillar in the community. He was the kind of guy who was always there for you.”
“To me, Paul was a hero in every way, in his service to his country, to his community and to his family,” said NID General Manager Ron Nelson. “His service to the district has been phenomenal. His legacy is a permanent part of this organization.”
Williams was honored on April 22, 2009, when he attended his final NID board meeting. He was recognized as a strong voice for agriculture, even though his Lincoln area district has continued to grow and change.
Fellow director and board President Scott Miller praised the retiring Williams for his “wisdom, institutional knowledge and record of excellent decisions.”
Williams retired from a 28-year career in the U.S. Air Force and resided with his wife, Norma, on a small ranch in rural Lincoln that they settled 44 years ago.
In addition to his wife of 58 years, Williams leaves two children and two grandchildren.
Two other NID directors have passed the quarter-century mark; Theodore Schwartz Jr., who served for 26 years (1921-47), and Ernie Bierwagen, with 25 years in office (1977-2002).
Nevada City resident and freelance writer Dave Carter writes for the Nevada Irrigation District, among other clients.
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