Helping families celebrate a life lived.


Services & Obituaries

Mac McKinsey
June 1, 1920 ~
May 06, 2019
Date of Service: June 27, 2019

Julie Gossack
August 2, 1969 ~
June 20, 2019
Date of Service: June 28, 2019

Eris 'Bea' Black
December 11, 1922 ~
February 04, 2019
Date of Service: June 29, 2019

Zola Jones
March 8, 1944 ~
June 23, 2019
Date of Service: June 29, 2019

Colleen Johnson
April 17, 1953 ~
June 22, 2019
Date of Service: July 12, 2019

Donald Boothe
June 21, 1934 ~
June 24, 2019

Marcia Woodland
August 7, 1932 ~
June 20, 2019

Arthur "Lee" Smith
January 13, 1947 ~
June 19, 2019

Sandra Harris
October 10, 1944 ~
June 18, 2019

Jack Burns
October 27, 1926 ~
June 12, 2019

Sally Van Delinder
May 17, 1962 ~
June 12, 2019

Richard 'Dick' Walker
April 9, 1927 ~
June 11, 2019


Kris Williams

October 23, 1950 ~ March 20, 2019

Service: April 07, 2019 4:00 P.M.
   Location: Emerson Weaver Room

Kris Williams of Bozeman, Montana passed away peacefully in the loving arms of her beloved husband on March 20, 2019, on their 35th wedding anniversary, after a fierce battle with brain cancer.  Kris was born on October 23, 1950 in Seattle, Washington, daughter of Gloria (Tilden) and Jim Gunn.  She grew up in the Seattle area.

As a young girl, Kris fell in love with music and playing the cello.  At 14 years old Kris began earning college credits while attending the University of Washington’s chamber music program under Emanuel Zetlin.  Later she attended UW as a cello performance major, a student of Eva Heinz.  Kris was awarded the prestigious Brechemin Award Scholarship for excellent performance for two consecutive years.  Accepted into a graduate program as a freshman, she became a member of the UW String Quartet, and studied for two years with the Philadelphia String Quartet, performing in concert with them.  Kris was accepted to the studio of Leonard Rose at Juilliard in New York. After playing in a master class for Gabor Rejto, she was invited to attend the Music Academy of the West where she won the cello award and became his student at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. She formed a string trio, The Trio D'Amore, and was principal cellist of the Debut Orchestra.  She attended the Claremont Music Festival and studied cello with Joel Krosnick of the Juilliard String Quartet, chamber music with Charles Libove of the Paganini String Quartet, and Koen Van Slogteren, principal oboist of the Concertgebouw Orchestra.  Winning a national audition for a string quartet residency in New York, under the auspices of the Lenox String Quartet, she became a member of the Acadia String Quartet, performing as artists-in-residence at Elmira University, giving lectures and demonstrations, teaching cello, and performing in various concerts and recitals at the university.  She studied chamber music with the Lenox Quartet and cello with Donald McCall.  While in New York she was principal cellist with the Tri-Cities Opera Co. and gave a world premiere for solo cello by Michael Convertino.  Kris returned to Seattle, formed a piano trio with Serge Kardalian, former concertmaster of the Seattle Symphony, and Beverly Hamway, pianist of the Seattle Symphony.  She found a passion for teaching and developed a private studio of students.  Kris received an offer to audition for the Kronos String Quartet and was invited to play in Washington, D.C. for Rostropovich.  During this life changing series of events, Kris suffered a broken back in a hiking accident, and her career came to an end.

Kris had two passions in life: playing the cello and her husband, not necessarily in that order. She met Ralph Williams after her accident, actually meeting twice during a six-year time period. They finally got serious and became a couple, and Ralph and Kris were married in Seattle on March 20, 1984. 

In 2003 Kris and Ralph moved to Bozeman where Ralph developed the Bear Tooth Leather Company and Kris used her creative talents in flower design and arranging, working for Country Flower Shop.  Though she continued to have back pain, she decided to re-teach herself cello and, after 34 years without playing, refocused her efforts to play again.  She gave recitals, played with the Billings Symphony, and was a member of the Bozeman Symphony at the time of her death.  Kris also loved playing with the Intermountain Opera Association, the Montana Ballet Company, and various musicals at the Ellen Theater.  She had a private cello studio and adored her students.  On March 24, 2018 Kris and pianist Stefan Stern performed at the Cikan residence to a standing room only crowd, shortly before she was diagnosed with brain cancer. 

Kris is survived by her adoring soulmate, Ralph; her kitty, Twinkle; sister, Tracey Rose; and sisters-in-law, Donna Williams and Judy Hale.  She was preceded in death by her parents. 

A memorial service will be held at the Emerson Cultural Center’s Weaver Room at 4:00 P.M. on Sunday, April 7.  Memorial contributions can be made to the Bozeman Symphony Musicians’ Fund.

Arrangements are in the care of Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service.


[Printable Version]

Online Condolences for Kris | Return to Obituaries

Pre-planning information
Family Feedback

"Thank you for all you did for us regarding our Dad's funeral.  I know many times you went the extra mile for us and we appreciate it.  As hard as it was, you made the planning easier.  Chris, you have a gift and may you continue to bless people.  We will always be grateful for you."

~ Darlene D. & Family
News & Events

Funeral Service to be Held Saturday, May 25

Now More Options Than Ever

How a Funeral Director Helps People Navigate Death

Take ACTION to Resolve Difficult Losses

Ten Essential Touchstones for Finding Hope and Healing Your Heart


© 2003-2019 Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service & Crematory. All rights reserved. 113 S. Willson Ave. | Bozeman, MT 59715 | 406.587.3184