Charlie Williamson

Obituary photo

Charles Nelson Williamson
30 Jun 1942 - 23 Dec 1992
Foggy City Dancers


Charles Nelson Williamson
June 30, 1942 - Dec. 23, 1992

Charles died peacefully in his home of AIDS-related complications at 7:30 p.m. on December 23, 1992. Known to his family as Nelson and to his friends and colleagues as Charlie, he was an intensely passionate man in both his persona and professional life. Charlie's passion moved hm to extend himself to many of his patients in ways that blurred the lines between physician and beloved friend. His anger was equally intense and oftentimes surprising. He was blessed with several significant relationships in a tempestuous style befitting his character. Though surrounded by colleagues, friends and his community, he was an intensely private person.

Charlie graduated from the University of North Carolina School of Medicine in 1968. He completed his residency in Internal Medicine and a fellowship in Nephrology at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia. He was drafted into the Army in 1973 which brought him to San Francisco where he served at Letterman Hospital until 1975. Charlie then began his own private practice in Internal Medicine, practicing in San Francisco for 17 years. He was elected chairman of the Department of Internal Medicine at Ralph K. Davies Medical Center in 1991. He was also an active member of the Bay Area Physicians for Human Rights. Charlie retired from his medical practice in January, 1992.

Charlies was a true jock, both as a marathon runner and century bicyclist. He served several times as the physician for GayRun, and was the Medical Director for the Gay Games in 1986. In 1990, Charlie won a silver and two gold medals for biking events at the Gay Games in Vancouver. He faced hiss illness like another marathon or bike race. His response to the sudden paralysis of his legs was an aggressive program of physical therapy, refitting his car, and moving to an apartment with no stairs. When friends were planning for his memorial, Charlies took a trip to New York to see the Matisse exhibit.

Charlie's friends, patients, and colleagues are invited to attend a memorial service at 11 a.m. on Saturday, January 9 at Holy Innocents Episcopal Church, 455 Fair Oaks Street in San Francisco. In lieu of flowers, contributions in his name may be made to either the San Francisco Godfather Service Fund at 584 Castro Street #225 or the Holy Innocents Memorial Garden.[1]



  1. Bay Area Reporter (San Francisco, CA) Thursday, 07 Jan 1993