Deceased June 13, 1991

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In Memory

John R. Williams died on June 13, 1991. He went through a too-short life with style and aplomb. A recent issue of the Taft School alumni magazine, a school were John taught after graduation, recounted a fascinating story about a young freshman woman named Barbara Potter (who until this year had spent many years as one of the top ten women professionals in the world) and who was good enough to play for the high school boys varsity tennis team as a freshman. The story went on to recount how she and her coach dealt with the problems and pressure.

Even as a rookie teacher and coach, John exhibited that smooth style and quiet compassion that characterized his college career. His life was spent as a schoolmaster … he taught and he administered. He taught at several schools and later was the headmaster of the Charlotte, NC, Country Day School until stepping down from administrative duties to resume a teaching career not long ago.

Those who corresponded with him over the last years would agree that his battle with cancer epitomized his quiet grace and tough spirit. His former tennis partners and opponents will have to wait before resuming their spirited rivalries. His letter in the 25th Reunion Book reminds all of us how much he remembered of our little moments and competitions with him. He was a competitor with grace, and we all miss him.

Samuel B. Spencer ‘65