John R. Williams, who passed away Friday at 99 years of age, used his energy, intellect and personality to benefit our area and, at times the entire state of West Virginia, greatly. He left behind lasting contributions and the memory, as one who knew him recalled, that he was a true gentleman.
A Virginia native, Williams was an engineer who worked in the chemical industry for several years before coming to Wheeling. Here, he was an executive with the Ogden Newspapers for nearly 35 years. He was respected in his field, serving a term on the board of the Southern Newspaper Publishers Association.
He and his beloved wife of 68 years, Frances "Pinkie" Williams, were intensively involved in civic life. In addition to work with education, health care, public housing, the arts, charities, his church and the local business community, Williams was a member of the West Virginia State Road Commission during a time when plans were made for many of the important highways and bridges serving the state today.
Williams will be missed because of his many contributions and, again, because he was a true gentleman.