Photo Caption: Ronald G. Williams
Ronald G. Williams, 74, of Athens, died of natural causes at his son's home in Pittsboro, North Carolina on April 7, 2012. Born in Athens on April 9, 1937, he was the son of Eudora Tucker Williams and the late Harry W. Williams.
An outstanding student and Hall of Fame athlete at Athens High School, he earned an academic scholarship to Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts, where he participated in various club activities and sports while maintaining his grades to keep his scholarship.
After college, he ventured to Cuba to teach English for a year before the revolution led by Fidel Castro forced him to leave. Upon his return to the United States, he enlisted in the U.S. Army and was deployed to West Germany, where he met his wife of 47 years, Sofia. His son, Mike, was born in Stuttgart, and Ron then brought his new family to the United States in 1966, settling in his hometown of Athens.
He earned a Bachelor of Science in Education in 1969 and a Master of Education in 1972 from Ohio University, and was a principal/teacher in New Marshfield before securing his career at Athens High School as an earth science and biology teacher. He was the advisor of the Athens High School soccer club for a few years in the 70's before accepting the position of athletic director for the school in 1977. Under his leadership, Athens High School added 17 varsity sports and was a perennial favorite for the SEOAL's All-Sports trophy, given to the high school with the most overall success of its varsity sports programs. Ron was also instrumental in implementing Title IX at Athens High, adding several women's varsity sports. He retired in 1994 but continued to substitute teach for the school system, as well as the Tri-County Career Center.
Besides his mother, Ronnie is survived by his wife, Sofia Williams, of Athens; his son, Mike Williams of Pittsboro, NC; his daughter, Lea (Greg) Cramer of Beaver Falls, PA; three brothers Larry (Kathy) Williams of Eugene, OR, John (Teddi) Williams of Athens, and Mark Williams of York, PA; four sisters, Sharon (Tom) Parsons of Athens, Beth Williams of Winter Park, FL, Jo Ellen (Gregor) Sherow of Athens, and Barbara (Blair) Wingert of New Hill, NC; he is also survived bymany nieces, nephews, great nieces, and great nephews.
He was preceded in death by his father and his brother, Jeffrey W. Williams.
A memorial service will be held Saturday, April 14th at the Athens Country Club. Respects can be paid to the family between 1:00-3:00 p.m., concluding with a celebration of Ron's life at 3:00 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the National Parks Conservation Association, 777 6th Street, NW, Suite 700, Washington, DC 20001 or at www.npca.org/ways-to-give/ in honor of his love for camping and visiting some of the great places on Earth.