Celebration of a 'new life'

"I'm not here to mourn for Curtis' death," David Williams said at a Fresno, California church this morning as nearly 700 friends, family members and press representing TV, radio and newspapers from Fresno and Seattle congregated to remember the life and legacy of former Washington safety Curtis Williams. "I'm here to celebrate his new life."

Curtis' brothers William, David, Paul, James and Lamont Simmons were the honorary casket-bearers in attendance at Fresno's Northwest Church today, and both of Curtis' parents were there as well. A substantial gathering of past and present Husky players and coaches made their way to Fresno, as well as many members of the Husky athletic department.

James, a current assistant coach at the University of California, Berkeley had a vignette to share this morning. He talked about when Curtis was 7 years old and wanted to play little league baseball. He had to be 8 to play, but was hoping that maybe he could sneak under the age limit. He started by catching ground balls and became pretty good at that. Then came the fly balls.

On one ball that hit pretty high, Curtis mis-judged the ball and it ended up hitting him on the head, producing a nice-sized knot on his forehead. On the way back home, they stopped for some ice cream. Curtis looked up at James and told him, 'I'm going to get that one tomorrow.'. "That was Curtis," James said. "He always had a positive outlook."

To further emphasize the point, James relayed a story that happened just a couple of weeks ago. James was visiting Curtis and Curtis had this smile on his face. "What are you smiling about?" James asked. "I'm thinking about playing football," Curtis said. James said, "You mean about what it felt like playing football?" and Curtis said, "No. I'm thinking about playing football again."

"I'm sure right now he's playing football again," James said.

There is going to be a service honoring the life of Curtis Williams at Hec Ed tomorrow night at 7 PM. It is free and we are encouraging all to attend, regardless of fan affiliation.

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