David Eugene “Dave” Williamson, the second son of William “Bill” and Irene (Stanley) Williamson, was born September 26, 1950 at Primghar, IA. As an infant, he was baptized at the Methodist Church in Sanborn, IA.
Dave and his brother, Gordon, grew up on their parent’s farm in the Sanborn-Hartley, IA area. They were fortunate enough to have their grandmother, Minnie Williamson, living with them as well throughout their childhood years. Dave was a basic farm kid – helping with farm chores when he had to, playing outside when he could. As a young boy, he was always curious about what made things “tick” and learned on his own how to tear something apart and reassemble it on the first try! This natural mechanical ability would serve him well as an adult.
The Center School in Lincoln Township is where Dave began his education. While most kids had to walk a mile to get to school – Dave simply walked across the road as their farm sat just west of the school yard. Later, he attended Hartley elementary and graduated from Hartley High School in 1968. While in high school, Dave took a Vocational Ag class which first introduced him to the art of welding.
Dave was united in marriage to Sandy Harris; a son, Jeremy, was born to this union. For several years, they farmed east of Hartley. In 1973, Dave began working for Bergen Welding in Spencer, IA and over the years, became very proficient at the trade. Many times customers would tell him he made welding look so simple!
Following a divorce, Dave married Judy Patten in 1975. He would always refer to her three children as his ‘stepchildren’ and enjoyed helping Judy raise them and being part of their lives. In 1980, Dave started his own business – Williamson Welding, located at Harris, IA. Later, he began selling welding equipment and the company became known as Williamson Welding and Supplies, now based in Okabena, MN. Attending trade shows and county fairs became a big part of making his business grow, and the family would all pitch in and do their part. While it was a lot of work setting up and tearing down, Dave’s easy-going demeanor and ready wit kept everyone in good humor. He always had a joke or two to share and teasing the kids usually made a “long day” seem not so long. Some years, they attended as many as 64 shows and fairs as they traveled parts of Minnesota, Iowa, and South Dakota. Eventually, Dave began driving through the country and personally calling on farmers himself, building lifelong friendships and creating trust and confidence in his products. Sometimes customers presented him with a piece of equipment needing repair; Dave was more than happy to fix it for them himself on site! Many of his customers said they looked forward to seeing him drive on the yard – not what most salesmen would hear. Later on, he began manufacturing his own pressure washers, featuring them, and all kinds of farm tools, at the Clay County Fair in Spencer, IA for over 30 years.
When his union with Judy dissolved, he married Martha Hughs, which later ended in divorce. In 2003, Dave purchased a plot of ground on Silver Lake near Ayrshire, IA and built a “shouse” on the property in 2005. He LOVED to fish and went on many fishing trips to Canada, Minnesota or South Dakota with Gordon, his grandson, Nate and several good friends. In 2009, he bought a home in Arizona and later, would spend his winters there. The time went by fast meeting new faces, checking out gun shops, going to swap meets or browsing through pawn shops. Tractor Rides became an avid interest of Dave’s - so he bought and restored a 504 International tractor and joined in on the local rides held in the summer. Dave’s unmistakable laugh will be his hallmark. He could laugh hard and long; it came up from his toes and shook his whole body.
On Thursday, May 20, 2021, after reaffirming his Christian faith with Pastor Nitzel and his brother, Gordon, Dave passed from this life from injuries sustained in an auto accident. He was 70 years of age. Preceding him were his grandparents; his parents, Bill and Irene Williamson; and son, Jeremy Williamson.
Dave will forever be remembered by those who knew and loved him: his brother, Gordon (Roxanne) Williamson of Hartley, IA; nieces: Mia Schultz and Mindy Peters; stepchildren: Pennie Patten-Hoffman and her special friend, Anthony “Tony” Terveer of Emmetsburg, IA, Craig Patten of Sioux Falls, SD, Jeff (Kim) Patten of Hartford, SD; six grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; other relatives and a host of friends.