Commentary by Joe Polanco
This week the printing industry lost one of its best with the passing of Jerry Williamson. A consummate gentleman and die-hard Texan, Jerry was someone you never forgot after meeting him. He had a stately way of greeting you and his drawl quickly told you where he had grown up.
The memories I have of Jerry revolve around the passion he had for the printing industry. He was heavily involved with Printing Industries of America (PIA) and Graphic Arts Technical Foundation (GATF), which were merged under his leadership as PIA’s Chairman in 2000. Yet, probably more important for the industry, was the time he spent each year spearheading the Texas delegation of industry leaders who met with Congressman and Senators. He knew many of our North Texas legislators and always opened the meeting asking about their family, which was extremely important to Jerry. He would then succinctly discuss the issues at hand and the reasons specific legislation would help/hurt North Texas business and their employees.
In the years I had the opportunity to work with Jerry, I learned a lot. Our industry is better off because of his passion and caring, but we are all going to miss his gentlemanly ways and passion for our Country and all things Texan.
Jerry Bowen Williamson III Obituary
Jerry Bowen Jerry Bowen Williamson, III, passed away at home on Saturday, December 16, 2017. He was born on July 18, 1939 to Bowen & Irma Clifton Speight Williamson. He was predeceased by his parents. He is survived by his wife of 51 years, Diane Thomas Williamson, his son Paul and wife Carol and their children Thomas, Walker and Ellie, his son Bo and wife Megan and their children Emma and Millie, and his daughter Beth and husband Matt Nicholas, all of Dallas; and siblings Speight Anderson of Houston, Elaine and husband Bill Crane of Shreveport, Jesse Williamson of Dallas, and Becky and husband JD Williams of Winona, TX. Jerry received his BA in Economics from SMU in 1961 and his JD from SMU in 1965.
During this time he also served in the Air National Guard, both as active duty and in the reserves. After law school, Jerry initially worked as a City Attorney for the City of Dallas. In 1968 he joined his father and brother, Jesse, in the family printing business, Williamson Printing Corporation, which they built into an internationally recognized commercial and specialty products printing company.
He retired as Chairman of the Board and CEO in 2012. In addition to leading Williamson Printing, he was very active in many national printing organizations, including serving as Chairman of the Printing Industries of America in 1998/1999 and Chairman of the Graphic Arts Technical Foundation from 2000-2003, and he was instrumental in the merger of those two national organizations.
During his career, he also received many awards and honors, including induction into the Printing Impressions Hall of Fame in 1997, the PIA - Lewis Memorial Lifetime Achievement Award in 2000, the Web Offset Association Harry V. Quadracci Vision Award in 2003, the Graphic Arts Leaders of the Americas Award, and the PIA Mid-America Visionary Award in 2015, and was a member of the Ben Franklin Honor Society as well as the Walter E. Soderstrom Society.
He loved spending time with his family, especially attending his grandkids' sporting events and activities. He also had a strong love for his country and the military. He was a life member of the Salesmanship Club of Dallas, Northwood Club and University Park United Methodist Church. In lieu of flowers the family suggests donations to University Park United Methodist Church Foundation, upumc.org/foundation; the Salesmanship Club of Dallas, scdallas.org; or the SMU Athletic Association, smumustangclub. com. Services will be held on Thursday, December 21, 2017 at 11:00 a.m. at UPUMC (4024 Caruth Blvd, Dallas 75225)