Richard Leroy Williams

Published 3:07 pm Friday, July 5, 2019

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Richard Leroy Williams of Clemmons died on June 27, 2019.

He was born in Severn, Md. on Aug. 23, 1944, to the late Robert Emery and Carlean Gambrill Williams. He was also preceded in death by 2 brothers, Robert (“Bobby”) and Larry Williams.

His early education was in the Anne Arundel County school district in Maryland. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Morgan State University in Baltimore where he pledged the fraternity Omega Psi Phi. He was then drafted into the U.S. Army and served in Vietnam from 1969-1970 as a Spec 5. After being honorably discharged, he graduated from The Pennsylvania State University with a master’s degree in business administration. In 1974, he became employed with IBM in Manassas, Va.  After retiring from IBM, he was employed with the Lockheed Martin Corp., also in Manassas, from which he retired in 2010.

In 1984, he was married to his wife Sharon.  They were blessed with one son, Rick, and resided in Centreville, Va. until 2010, moving first to Advance and later to Clemmons He had a great sense of humor, and was always quick with a joke. As one of nine children, he had many targets on which to perfect his craft of pranking. If he had something funny on you, he never missed the opportunity to retell (or better yet, re-enact) the story, with each reiteration becoming larger and more embellished.  This continued throughout his adult life, as he can recall countless corny “Dad” stories and jokes.

He loved sports, and as a youth he played for the Severn Pirates and Severn Wildcats sandlot baseball teams. As an adult, he learned the game of tennis, and played for many years, even teaching the game to Rick. He was a life-long Pittsburgh Steelers fan and expected nothing but perfection from the team. If the team was having a less-than-stellar year he threatened to “dump the bums” and find a new team, but this never happened.

He was a devoted husband and father. He loved supporting his son’s musical endeavors, being a proud “pit crew” member for his son’s high school band. Even in his sickness, when asked what his biggest accomplishment in life was, he said it was his son.

Survivors: his wife Sharon; his son Rick (Hana Kommel) of Los Angeles, Calif.; 4 sisters, Joan Strauther (Joseph Smith), Diana Owens, Carol Norton and Linda Burrell; 2 brothers, Gordon (Margaret) Williams and Brian Williams; sister-in-law, Donna Williams, all residing in Maryland; his mother-in-law, Marcella Lewis, brothers-in-law Clyde Lewis Jr. and Kenneth Lewis (Paula), sister-in-law Marsha Howell (Orlanda), all of Mocksville; and a host of aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and other relatives and friends.

The family received friends on July 1 at Graham Funeral Home from 7-8:30 p.m. Elder Raymond Robinson officiated a brief service, assisted by the Rev. James Campbell. Burial followed on Tuesday, July 2 at 11 a.m. at National Cemetery in Salisbury.