Obituary of Richard Williams
Richard Lloyd Williams, age 84 of Montclair NJ, passed away peacefully at Green Hill, West Orange, NJ, on April 28, 2018. The son of the late Lloyd Washington Williams and Emma Amerman Williams, Dick was born at Somerset Hospital on January 3, 1934 and raised in nearby North Branch, NJ. He graduated from Somerville High School in 1952 and from Muhlenberg College in 1956. Between 1957-1958, Dick served in the US Army, stationed at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. He remained with the Army in the reserves until January 1963 when he was honorably discharged. Dick’s working career was principally in the textile industry, which brought him considerable success. In 1959, Dick joined International Playtex as a management trainee in Dover, DE. Later, he moved to Fort Worth, TX to run manufacturing operations. In 1968, Dick was recruited to join West Point- Pepperell, the textile conglomerate. There he ran several divisions, which took him to New York City, Dalton, GA and back to New York again. In 1988, West Point merged with JP Stevens and Dick became President of JP Stevens. After the subsequent hostile takeover of West Point Stevens in 1989, Dick, along with West Point’s Chairman and CEO, Joe Lanier, led an investor group who purchased Dan River Incorporated, the Virginia based textile concern. Dick remained president and chief operating officer of Dan River until his retirement in 2003. In retirement, Dick split his time between Bay Head, NJ, Montclair, NJ, and Florida. Dick was an avid fisherman who could be found most mornings at the crack of dawn fishing for Blues, Flounder and Stripers off the Bay Head Beach. There, he made many friends. Dick’s other passion was youth sports. He was a regular on the sidelines watching his grandchildren compete. Dick was a member of the Bay Head Yacht Club and The Montclair Golf Club. Dick is survived by his wonderful and loving wife of 60 years, Suzanne S. Williams, whom he met in high school. In addition, he is survived by two children, Jane (Richard) Redmond and Richard (Jody) Williams Jr., and seven grandchildren: Richard (Ilana) Redmond, Jr., Scott Redmond, Timothy Redmond, Richard Williams III, Andrew Williams, Caroline Williams, and Scott Williams. His sister, Janice Williams O’Connell, also survives him. Dick was pre-deceased by his grandson, William Redmond. Many knew Dick as a man of character, honesty, and humor; he was modest and kind in both public and private matters. He will be sorely missed. A private burial in the family cemetery plot will take place Friday, May 4, 2018 at the South Branch Reformed Church in Hillsborough Township, NJ. A memorial service will take place Saturday, May 5, 2018 at Central Presbyterian Church, Montclair, NJ at 2:00PM. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be sent to Central Presbyterian Church Memorial Fund, 46 Park St., Montclair, NJ 07042 or The Muhlenberg Fund, Muhlenberg College, 2400 Chew St., Allentown, PA 18104.