Home-United StatesAir Tractor's Gene Williams Remembered

Air Tractor’s Gene Williams Remembered

via Air Tractor

Gene Williams, the man who set the standards for Air Tractor customer service throughout his career, passed away May 7 in Wichita Falls, Texas. He was 82.

“Gene was a very smart and perceptive man. He understood human behavior and how

to get things done while always remaining a down-to-earth guy from rural Texas. We were lucky that he chose Air Tractor to share his talents with,” says Jim Hirsch, Air Tractor president.

Williams officially retired from Air Tractor in 2007, after 20 years of service at the agricultural aircraft manufacturer, but continued mentoring Jeff Dobbs, who followed in his footsteps as Customer Service Manager. Dobbs says, “Gene practically wrote the book on Air Tractor customer care.”

Jeff Dobbs and Gene Williams

“Gene spent a lot of time working on an invaluable document called the Air Tractor Customer Service Manual. He recognized that because they were out of production, there were old Tractor AT-300s, 301s, 400s, and 400As remained in service. But very few people remained at Air Tractor who were familiar with these airplanes. In Gene’s words, ‘The answers to customers’ questions are all found in Air Tractor drawings, engineering reports, and service letters. The research necessary to find these answers can be very time-consuming unless one already knows the answers.’ Gene collected and preserved that knowledge and passed it along to us. It was this type of foresight that I am grateful for,” Dobbs adds.

Dobbs recalls that Gene was an outstanding mentor who always had a word of encouragement during difficult times. Page 2 of 3

“Gene was unlike anyone I have ever met. He had a special gift for reading people, an uncanny way with words, and a common-sense approach to problem solving that you just don’t come across very often,” Dobbs says. “I consider it a real honor to be in the role of Customer Service Manager here at Air Tractor. It is because of people like Leland Snow, the first unofficial Customer Service Manager, and later Gene Williams, who paved the way for the success we have today.”

Gene Williams was born December 8th in Wichita Falls on the day the US entered World War II. He grew up in Wichita and Young counties.

Dona Jorden and Gene Williams

He served proudly in the U.S. Marine Corps, but his proudest achievements were his children and grandchildren. He is survived by son, Wade Williams (Loving, Texas), and three daughters—Tracie Moore (Graham, Texas), Desi Vicars (Holliday, Texas), and April Palmer (Houma, Louisiana)— eight grandchildren: Carl Moore (Joshua, Texas), Michael Moore (Graham, Texas), Yves Andress (Spokane, Washington), Thomas Williams (Houston, Texas), Rona Williams (Houston, Texas), Hunter Dalton (Wichita Falls, Texas), Hadley Vicars (Holliday, Texas), and Layton Gober (Holliday, Texas); and one great-grandson, Owen Dalton (Wichita Falls), along with numerous nieces and nephews in California, Boston, Kentucky, and Texas.

During his 82 years Gene made many friends and he and maintained those friendships with delight. His family notes that so many of his friends were part of the agricultural aviation industry. “Gene will be missed, but never forgotten. He made sure of it by leaving his mark on the very fabric that makes Air Tractor special,” Hirsch said.





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