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Gary Williams, 1952-2014

Riverside farewell to Gary Williams
In a unique and moving ceremony beside the River Culm on 15 August family and friends said goodbye to Gary Williams, who has died at the age of 62.
Born in Connecticut, USA, Gary had a passion for music and in his 30-year career in the record business worked with many of the biggest names in entertainment, from Leonard Cohen to Celine Dion and Bruce Springsteen.
After leaving college he talked his way into a job in the mail room at Columbia records, New York and then systematically worked his way up through the ranks of Columbia and Sony. His job took him all over the world. He moved to Denmark, then Holland, where he met Yvonne Roth, and then London.
When he retired at 50 he and Yvonne moved to the Water Mill, Clayhidon. In the beautiful garden Yvonne created beside the river, celebrant Trudy Farmer conducted a farewell ceremony, praising this “patient, dignified and very gracious man” who had fought an unrelenting battle against cancer.
His friend David Bridewell paid humorous tribute to Gary’s enthusiasm for golf. Another friend and former work colleague, Nick, said: “If not quite the king of rock’n’roll, Gary has a unique place in the music biz, As one of his lifelong friends said yesterday, ‘He was the loveliest and most decent man I know’.”
He said Gary would stick up for his staff and his artists and help any friend out in any way. “The messages I’ve received have been overwhelming and from all over the world.”
To the sound of James Taylor singing September Grass, Yvonne placed grasses on his casket beside the river.  The ceremony ended with Billy Joel singing Lullaby.
Gary’s ashes are to be scattered in the garden and at Todd’s Point, a place he where he loved to picnic back home with his family in Connecticut.
There were no flowers. Instead donations to Bowel Cancer UK were requested.