Obituary: Mae Anna Williamson

May 30, 1926 ~ September 8, 2021

Mae Anna Williamson, 95, of Washington Island, died late Wednesday night, September 8, 2021 at Autumn’s Promise Assisted Living in Green Bay.

She was born May 30, 1926 in Savage, MT the daughter of Francisco and Genoveva (Torres) Silva, who were direct descendants of the original 32 Spanish settling families of Albuquerque, NM in 1692. Mae’s family moved to Chicago, IL while she was still an infant, was raised, and attended school there. She married Mario Perez on July 28, 1945. They shared nearly nine years of marriage. Mae attended cosmetology school in Chicago. She married Thorsten Per Williamson in Chicago on May 3, 1959. Together they owned and operated a grocery store off 44th Street. In 1965, they moved to Washington Island in Door County, WI, a place Thorsten had become familiar with through his parents, who used to vacation there.

Mae’s father, Francisco, came to live with them, and she cared for him until his death in 1968. While living on the island, Mae cooked for the Holiday Inn Hotel and Ships Wheel Restaurant and provided Senior Nutrition Meals through ADRC of Door County for over 25 years. Just like when they ran their store in Chicago, Mae continued to be there to support Thor, helping on their farm on Washington Island, and operating a bakery in the old cheese factory building, which they remodeled. She worked a lot in the background, helping her husband Thor, with his many community and service projects. She graciously provided meals to guests (expected and unexpected) and opened her house for people to stay when needed.

Mae was a member of Bethel Evangelical Free Church on Washington Island and its Bethel Builders through which she volunteered with the annual salad luncheon for over 10 years. For years, she helped with “Tidings” (the church newsletter) and also helped in the nursery. Mae was a member of the (Washington Island) Women’s Club where she helped with the Mexican Booth for their International Food Festival for 15 years. She was a member of the American Legion Auxiliary Unit 402 and worked many hours helping with events and fundraisers. Mae would always serve up her delicious sloppy joes, chips, and pickles after the community cleanup on the Island. She enjoyed playing pinochle, reading, knitting, and crocheting.

Surviving Mae are her four children, Ken (Barbara) Perez of Green Bay, Bonnie (Randy) Chapin of Omro, Becky (Robert) Gillespie of Washington Island, and Monty (Mary Beth) Williamson of Skokie, IL; daughter-in-law and son-in-law, Gail Perez of Posen, IL and Steve Harvey of Green Bay, twenty grandchildren; twenty-one great-grandchildren; and two great-great grandchildren; and numerous relatives living in the Las Cruses, NM area, where her parents were born.

She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Thorsten; four children, Mario Perez, Richard Perez, Beverly Perez Harvey, and (infant) Barbara Williamson; ten siblings, Viliado (Leatha), Josefina (Emmanuel), Romelia (Raymond), Elvera (Joseph), Eloy, Dorothy, Gena, Samuel, Francisco “Frank” (Mae Mae), Art, and (infant) sibling.

 Mae’s life will be honored with a memorial service held at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, October 23, 2021 at Bethel Church on Washington Island with Pastor Rick Smith officiating. Burial will be in the Town of Washington Cemetery, beside her husband, Thor.

Visitation for family and friends will be held at the church on Saturday, October 23, 2021 from 10:30 a.m. until the time of service.

Memorials may be given in Mae’s name to Bethel Church and the American Legion Auxiliary Unit 402.

“Our family would like to give thanks to Unity Hospice and the Door County Medical Center Clinic for the wonderful compassionate care they provided to Mom.”

Casperson Funeral Home & Cremation Services in Sister Bay is assisting the Williamson family. Expressions of sympathy, memories, and photos of Mae may be shared with her family through her tribute page at