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Robert E. Williams of Kennett Square, Pennsylvania and formerly of Pittsburgh, passed away on Wednesday, August 14, 2019 at Brandywine Assisted Living. He was 91 years old.
Born Wellington, Sumner County, Kansas, Robert was the son of the late Lloyd Madison Williams and the late Josephine Lellos Prunty Williams.
Robert Williams attended a one-room school house through 9th grade in Wellington, KS before moving to a big school. He ran away from home at the age of 17 to join the US Marine Corps where he served during WWII and the Korean War. He graduated with a BS in Petroleum Engineering from Oklahoma University (go Sooners!) where he met his bride of 62 years, Shirley Jean. They raised four above average children and transported them to every major oil and gas field in Oklahoma, Texas, Kentucky, West Virginia, Illinois, Ohio, and finally residing in Pittsburgh, PA. From there he was able to provide each child with an above-average college education. Once educated, their children spread out across the globe which allowed ample opportunities for Bob and Shirl to travel all around North America and distant places like Beijing, China and Bogota, Columbia.
Robert was converted from a born-again Christian to the humbled faith of Unitarianism shortly after meeting his bride. After that he and the family served the UU Church where ever he lived with all the energy Shirley and their children could muster. From the early 1970s, he labored at and served the UU Church of the South Hills (Sunnyhill) until he had his lawn mower license revoked in 2015. After that he carefully supervised lawn mowing and tree trimming activities.
He was an avid gardener and had the advantage of four weed pullers before child labor laws went into effect. Tomatoes and corn were his specialty and the month of August was spent canning fruits and vegetables so that the family had ample provisions for the cold winter ahead. He and his family religiously vacationed on the North Carolina shores for an annual family reunion where many friends of the family attended and consumed copious amounts of bounty from the sea as well as classic NC BBQ.
Robert and Shirley were also very giving of their time and delivered Meals on Wheels for over 20 years. They were members of the Pittsburgh Symphony for more than 30 years and loved going to the Strip District!
Robert was preceded in death by his wife, Shirley and his two oldest sons, Larry and Stephen. He is survived by his daughter, Caroline, her spouse, Stephen; his youngest son, Sam, his wife LeAnn; Jeanne, widow of son, Stephen; Marthika, widow of son, Larry, grandchildren: Stephanie, Cara, Nora, Erin, Michael and Nicholas; and great-granddaughter, Eliana. He was also preceded in death by his two older brothers, Lloyd and Reid.
A memorial service will be at 2:00PM on Sunday, October 6, 2019 at the Unitarian Church, 1240 Washington Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15228.
In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting donations be made in Robert’s honor to your local chapter of the ALS Foundation(www.alsa.org/community), the American Cancer Society(www.cancer.org), or the Unitarian Universalist Church of the South Hills, PA (UU Church of South Hills, 1240 Washington Rd, Pittsburgh, PA 15228).