Gary Wayne Williams

Gary Wayne Williams
Gary Wayne Williams

Gary Wayne Williams, 80, of Amarillo, died peacefully with family by his side on February 27, 2020.

Services will be held on Saturday, February 29, 2019 at 11:00 am in the Boxwell Brothers Ivy Chapel. Burial will be a private family gathering in Memory Gardens Cemetery before the memorial service. Arrangements are by Boxwell Brothers Funeral Directors, 2800 Paramount Blvd in Amarillo.

Viewing will be from 9:00 A.M.- 8:00 P.M., Friday, February 28, 2020, at Boxwell Brothers Funeral Home

Gary was born on December 1, 1939 in McCamey, Texas to Alice and Al Williams.  He is preceded in death by his devoted wife and business partner Debi Williams, his brother Sonny Williams and scores of loyal customers that became a part of his family.  Gary was in the barbecue business his whole life starting in the family business at age 16 with Al’s Bar-B-Que in Sunset Center and later with Gary’s Family Bar-B-Que and Deb’s Deli on Western Street.  His journey in the barbecue business was documented in Texas Monthly https://www.texasmonthly.com/bbq/interview-gary-williams-of-garys-bbq/ .  Gary and his wife Debi worked along side each other every day of their marriage.  Gary’s Bar-B-Que and Deb’s Deli was a gathering place for friends and family.  Gary was passionate about barbecue, making all food from scratch, and ensuring that all customers were greeted with a hearty welcoming.  When he was not working hard or spending time with his family, Gary could be found on various golf courses throughout the Texas Panhandle playing as many holes as he could squeeze in before sundown while regaling in stories about ole Pete Wiley from Alaska.  Whether the tales of Pete Wiley actually took place, we will never know, but the stories grew legs of their own.

He is survived by two daughters, Mindy Cardenas and Kerri Sigler, both of Amarillo; and two sons, Mike Murphy and wife Grace of Arizona and Doug Murphy and wife Kelly of Houston; five grandchildren Ryan Murphy, Concetta Murphy, Wyatt Murphy, Elliott Murphy and Jordan Montoya and husband Eric; and one great-grandchild, Audi Montoya.

The family wishes to extend a heartfelt thanks to Mindy Cardenas and Kerri Sigler for their incredible loving and devoted care for Gary over the past 8 years.   The family also extends their gratitude to all the nurses and staff at Amarillo Skilled Nursing and BSA Hospice Care for the care and concern they provided Gary.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests people enjoy what really matters in life by spending time with friends and family over a delicious barbecue dinner.

7 Replies to “Gary Wayne Williams”

  1. My dad and Gary were golf buddies for decades. I grew up at Garys BBQ, and spent many days and nights at Debi and Garys house hanging out with their son Doug.

    Gary was a good man, a great friend to my dad and a great father to Mindy and Doug. I have so many fond memories of Doug, dad and their golf buddies tell tall tails of their last golf game, Alaska and WWII. In the 80’s Garys BBQ was the place to be. Best of times. Best of people.

  2. I never met Gary, but I knew Debi and Bob Murphy. They lived down the street from me. Then moved to Coral Ridge, and Plantation. I babysat for Mike, Mindy, and Doug, and spent the weekends at their home in Coral Ridge. A wonderful family, and I have such fond memories of your family. Your mom and dad spoiled me, and I loved every one of you kids more than you can imagine. Lost touch with you all when you moved from FL, but obviously I still think of you all often. I have searched for you on FB, but have still not been successful. I was able to keep in touch with Bob for many, many years, but have since lost touch with him as well. Your mom was a gem, and I was blessed to know you all. You made my teenage years so special, and I am just sorry I have not been able to reconnect with you. Mindy could not say my name, and dubbed me Charnie. I am glad to know Gary became someone you loved very much. I was devastated when I saw your mom’s obituary several years ago. I had always hoped I would get to reconnect with her as well. Please feel free to contact me.

  3. I worked for Gary for a brief period when he had Al’s BBQ at Sunset Center. I was young, like 11 or 12. My Dad had the shoe department in the Hub Clothiers, he and Gary decided I needed a job (it may have been child care in disguise). Gary would chop beef on the butcher block making sandwiches and I would take orders and serve bottles of coke. Gary would heat Nolan Fried Pies, still in the wax paper wrapper on a small flat top grille. One of his sandwiches and a warm fried pie was a slice of heaven.

  4. Grew up knowing Gary. He was my cousin. Al was my mother’s brother. Always loved both of their BBQ. One of the highlights of going up to Amarillo. He will be missed.

  5. Gary Williams is survived by his adopted children from his previous marriage to Donna Williams. His children are Gwendolyn Williams Schindler and husband Louis of Texas, David Spellman and wife Ronda of Idaho and Diana Williams Prouse of New Mexico; three grandchildren Melissa Schindler Burnett and husband John of Texas, Jason Schindler and wife Melissa of Texas and David Spellman of Alaska; and six great-grandchildren Hailey Schindler Anderson, John Paul and Alexis Burnett, Olivia and Easton Schindler and David Spellman.

  6. Gary and Debi were close friends of my parents. Everything we did when visiting my dad included a stop at the BBQ or gatherings at our homes. They were part of the Tolbert family and we will miss them both.

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