Virgil "John" Williamson


May 1, 1938 - February 14, 2013



Virgil “John” Williamson was a long-time resident of Mitchell.  John was born May 1st 1938 to Rudolph and Hulda (Mork) Williamson in Dell Rapids, SD.  After high school and before attending college, John served in the United States Air Force. John graduated from the University of Nebraska in 1965 with a Business Administration Degree and worked for the Army Corp of Engineers and Medicare a number of years.

John met and married his wife, Keo in 1974 and the family moved to Mitchell where he worked at the Mitchell Detox Center.  In 1981, while working as a family therapist they moved to Pierre where he worked for the State of SD in the Department of Health.

In 1985 they moved to Vermillion where John earned his Master’s Degree in Educational Psychology and Counseling.  That advancement led him to be employed with Midlands Hospital in Papillion, NE.  Later John and Keo moved to Greely CO where they resided until 1995. Desiring to be closer to family and friends they moved back to Mitchell.  John continued to work part time as a researcher for the Dakota Discovery Museum in Mitchell. 

John enjoyed the outdoors, hunting, fishing, playing cards and of course was an avid MN Twins Baseball and NE Cornhusker football fan.  

He is survived by his son, Troy and Joyce Kunz of Annacortes, WA and his daughter, Trina and James Kropenske of Bellevue NE, three grandchildren and five great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.  John is preceeded in death by his wife, Keo, his parents, his brothers: Floyd and Herman.


John dedicated most of his life helping others gain and maintain sobriety - the family asks

that any memorials be acknowledged with donations to the Mitchell AA Club.


Wednesday, February 20, 2013
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Bittner Funeral Chapel
805 West Havens
Mitchell, South Dakota


Thursday, February 21, 2013
10:30 AM
Bittner Funeral Chapel
805 West Havens
Mitchell, South Dakota


Military Graveside Service
Dell Rapids Cemetery
Dell Rapids, South Dakota

Posted by James Kropenske on February 23, 2013
John was a Husband, Father, Brother, Uncle, Son, and a GREAT Father in Law. I was so blessed with so many memories, hunting, fishing, baseball games, card games, coffee and wisdom. I love you John and I sure am going to miss you!!!! "Jimmy"
Posted by Kelly on February 23, 2013
Troy and Trina, I'm so sorry to hear about your dad. He will be missed greatly. May the thought at John 5:28,29 about a future resurection encourage you and comfort your hearts. We look forward to seeing John again. Your family is in our thoughts.
Posted by Elmer Johnson on February 22, 2013
As a high school classmate of Virgil, I remember many good laughs with him.
Posted by Gerald Steinmetz on February 20, 2013
I knew John for 14 years. He was a great insperation in my sobriety. He was a great friend and mentor. He will be missed by all in the world of sobriety and by Husker fans.
Posted by Linda Kropenske and John Jacoway on February 20, 2013
Sorry we can't be with you today Trina. Know that our thoughts and prayers are with all of you as you celebrate John's life and the blessings he brought to each of you. I appreciated him as a person and his professional work very much.

Blessings, Linda and John
Posted by Dr. Ray Jensen on February 19, 2013
I am sorry to hear of the passing of "Johnny", as his brothers called him in his early years. His brother Floyd was my classmate in both grade and high school and their farm was adjacent to ours northwest of Irene. Reading his obit reminded me of many good memories and fun times with the Willamson family. May God grant peace to the family. Ray
Posted by Cristy Appel on February 19, 2013
Ours prayers are with you and your family as you say good bye. May your memories be your blessings. John was truely blessed to have such a great daughter. Peace and Love, Cristy & Mike & Austin Appel
Posted by Lisa Griffith on February 15, 2013
Trina and Troy and the family, You have my sympathy for the loss of John. I remember him well from when we all were in highschool together. Hugs, Lisa
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