Allan Robert "Al" Williamson, age 81, of Andy Hicks Road, Banner Elk, passed away Wednesday morning, December 18, 2019, at Watauga Medical Center in Boone.

Al was born March 31, 1938 in Cook County, Illinois, a son of the late Robert and Dorothy Franzen Williamson. He was a retired computer programmer for CNA Insurance Company, and was a member of Grace Lutheran Church in Boone.

Al was never afraid to try something new. Although hiking was never one of his chosen “hobbies,” when his wife, Cinda, wanted to hike the entire Appalachian Trail (2,160 miles), Al good-naturedly said, “yeah, let’s do it!” This was when they still lived in Chicago and had never seen the Appalachian Trail. In 1997, after moving to N. Carolina, they enthusiastically started out but Al suffered hypothermia within the first few days. This, however, did not slow him down. Since Cinda was still so insistent on finishing, they joined forces with another group, the “Slackpackers,” and went the whole way. Well, Al switched from the hiking role to a supporter role and helped Cinda finish her dream.

Al and Cinda were involved in Lutheran Marriage Encounter for over 20 years both in Chicago and in N. Carolina. They followed the LME slogan to “help good marriages become better marriages.” They filled many roles in this ministry. Al was also a lay minister in his church, filling in as an assisting minister and helping with “healing prayers.” He truly enjoyed singing and was active in church choirs throughout his life.

Al was an avid reader and kept a list of all the books he had read. He had a computer list which included the title, date read, author, copyright, and a detailed description of each book. His list numbered over 2,300 books but at some point he had accidentally deleted many of them so the true number was closer to 5,000.

Al had a fetish for crazy socks! For a Christmas gift one year, Cinda ordered a subscription of “Sock of the Month Club” socks. He developed quite a reputation for his socks and always had to show them at most meetings he attended.

He also had a love of stealthy deliveries. For a period of two years (the truth comes out!), Al and Cinda did secret deliveries in early December to various friends (usually while it was still dark out) and were only caught once!

He had a true love for the Lord Jesus Christ and is surely having a great time communing with Him in person!

He is survived by his wife, Cinda Williamson of the home; one niece, Lianna Dunten and husband Sean; one nephew, Derek Williamson and wife Marcella of Bradford, Vermont; two great-nephews, Maxwell Dunten and Aristotle Williamson, and one great-niece, Zafina Williamson. “He is also survived by 7 4-legged children.”

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by two brothers, Gordon and Warren Williamson.

Memorial services for Allan Robert "Al" Williamson will be conducted Saturday, January 4, 2020, at 1:00 o'clock, at Grace Lutheran Church in Boone. Officiating will be Pastor Steve Troisi and Vicar Christopher Shealy.

The family will receive friends following the memorial service.

Memorial contributions may be made to Grace Builders, in care of Grace Lutheran Church, 115 East King Street, Boone, North Carolina, 28607, Avery County Humane Society, 279 New Vale Road, Newland, North Carolina, 28657, or to the Watauga Humane Society, 312 Paws Way, Boone, North Carolina, 28607.

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