Roger G. Williams (1952 - 2013)

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Williams, Roger G. Roger G. Williams, prominent trial lawyer, loving husband, father, son and brother, died at home on April 10, 2013, with his family at his side. Born July 13, 1952, in Little Rock, Roger is survived by Nancy, his wife of 37 years, daughter Kristen and son-in-law Tommy Munoz, and son Steven. He is also survived by his mother, Betty Williams, brother Robert and wife Jewel Williams, his sister Carolyn and husband Harry Gaffney, and the family not born with, but chosen: Susan, Carl, CJ, and Sophie Janin. He was preceded in death by his father, Marvin Williams. Roger received his bachelor's degree from Hendrix College in 1973 and his law degree from Southern Methodist University School of Law in 1975. He and Nancy were married on February 28, 1976. He practiced law with several well-known attorneys during his early years, and in 1981 he became a founding member of Wilson, Williams & Molberg, where he practiced for nearly 30 years. Roger served as president of the Dallas Trial Lawyers Association in 1990. In 1997, he was elected president of the Dallas Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates. He was a long-time director of the Texas Trial Lawyers Association, its Treasurer for four years, and a Fellowship member of the organization since 1996. On several occasions he was asked to serve as president, but declined because of the excessive time it would require him to be away from his family. As a lawyer, Roger prided himself on his representation of "the little guys"-the ditch diggers, the construction workers, the secretaries-against the powerful interests that opposed them. He believed that his client's cause was as worthy of vigorous lawyering as was the cause of the privileged. He decried the ongoing destruction of the citizens' right to trial by jury and the cruel hoax of "tort reform"-a catch phrase used by moneyed interests in an effort to undermine access to civil justice for "regular folks." He was, to a certainty, the "peoples' lawyer." In the courtroom, he knew how to fight and fight professionally. As a husband and father, Roger was outgoing, giving, and always involved. He loved his children dearly, gave them guidance and permission to become who they wanted to be, and allowed them to find their own way. He was adoring of Nancy, and she of him, from the time they both worked in a grocery store in Arkansas. And there was nothing better than the time spent outdoors or at Lake Athens-swimming, boating, fishing or just sitting around talking. Everyone who knew Roger would agree that he was committed to his beliefs, loyal to his family and friends, generous and kind to all, funny, occasionally quirky, and never one who thought he was better than the person sitting next to him. Roger was truly a creative thinker, sometimes to excess and to the amusement of his family. He could fix anything with wire and duct tape -his family's MacGyver. It might not have always looked fixed, but it was fixed. All one had to do was consult Roger's verbal manual and it would be clear as mud how to operate. Roger's life was not unlike one of his projects. Simply, there is no one-column obituary that can ever do justice in describing the man we all will remember. Nancy, Kristen and Steven thank Drs. John Minna and David Gerber of UT Southwestern Medical Center for their caring and professional treatment of Roger over the course of his illness. They also thank District Judge Ken Molberg, Roger's 40-year friend and 30-year law partner, for his unflagging support of Roger and his loved ones through a difficult time. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in Roger's name to the Hamon Center for Therapeutic Oncology Research, NB8.206, c/o Diana Davis, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, 6000 Harry Hines Blvd., Dallas, TX 75390-8593. A celebration of Roger will be held Sunday, April 14, 2013, from 3-5 p.m. Family, friends and colleagues are invited. Details are available at Enter rogerwilliams1 in the "visit" location on the Web site and then click on the "Journal" tab. We leave you with Roger's favorite quote, by which he lived: "Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming "Wow! What a Ride!" " --Hunter S. Thompson

Published in Dallas Morning News from Apr. 12 to Apr. 13, 2013
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