George Dewey Williams Jr., 85, died peacefully on Friday, June 10, 2016, at his home in Green Sulphur Springs, WV.
Born March 15, 1931, at McAlpin in Raleigh County, WV, the son of George D. Williams and Lucy Lovell Williams.
Mr. Williams grew up in Tams, WV, and graduated from Mark Twain High School and West Virginia University with a degree in journalism. He was a member of Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity and met his wife, Barbara J. Hicks, there, to whom he had been married since June 5, 1954. Mr. Williams was a first lieutenant in the U.S. Army, serving as a company commander in the signal corps at Ft. Monmouth, NJ.
Mr. Williams enjoyed a lifelong career with the YMCA, starting in Charleston, WV, and then in St. Louis, MO, and finally Long Island, NY, where he retired as president of the YMCA of Long Island. Over his career and into his retirement, he raised millions of dollars for nonprofit and charitable organizations and earned the Certificate Fundraising Executive (CFRE) designation in recognition of his achievements.
Mr. Williams was a longtime member of Rotary International, holding various offices, including president of the Lewisburg club, and recognition as a Paul Harris Fellow. He was a member of the Lewisburg United Methodist Church and served many roles in the churches he belonged to over the years, including teaching Sunday School classes and young adult study groups. He also served on the boards of the Greenbrier Valley United Way and Gateway Industries.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by two sisters, Janet Scarbro and Leslie Sannan; and his brother, Robert Williams.
Mr. Williams is survived by his wife of 62 years, Barbara J. Hicks Williams of Green Sulphur Springs; two children, George Alan Williams “Alan,” a clergy member of the United Methodist Church living in Huntington, WV, and Aiyetoro Bakari, a social worker living in New York City, NY; five grandchildren, Safiya Bakari, Sadiki Bakari, and Sherain McLaurin of New York City, and Evan Williams and Julie Williams of Morgantown, WV; his sister, Ruth Boone of Tulsa, OK; sister-in-law, Anna Ruth Hicks of Green Sulphur Springs; and many beloved nieces and nephews.
As a final gesture of his care for others, Mr. Williams has donated his body for the advancement of medical education and research at West Virginia University.
A celebration of life service will be held Tuesday, June 21, 2016, at 6 PM at the Lewisburg United Methodist Church in Lewisburg. The family will receive friends from 4-6 PM at the church on Tuesday.
The family would be honored if, in lieu of flowers, donations were made to the Greenbrier Valley United Way, the Lewisburg United Methodist Church, the Lewisburg Rotary Club, or Gateway Industries.
Information submitted by Lobban Funeral Home in Alderson, WV.
Obituary originally published in the June 20, 2016, edition of The West Virginia Daily News.