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Donald Williams


1952 - 2012 Obituary Condolences
Donald Williams Obituary
Donald Edwin "Donnie" Williams

SALISBURY/OCEAN CITY — Donald "Donnie" Williams, 59, of Salisbury and Ocean City died Thursday, May 17, 2012, at Peninsula Regional Medical Center in Salisbury, surrounded by his family and loved ones.

He was born July 14, 1952, in La Plata, Md., to the late James H. and Loretta Pickeral Williams, who predeceased him earlier this year.

Donnie graduated from Leonard Hall Junior Naval Academy in Leonardtown, Md., Ryken High School, also in Leonardtown, and Salisbury University, then known as Salisbury State College. He attributed much of his later success to the values and discipline he was taught by the Xaverian brothers during his early education. He was also proud to include the late Frank Perdue and the late Sam Seidel as two of his mentors while studying at Salisbury University, as well as during his early years in business.

Eventually he became the mentor, as he was frequently sought out by eager young professionals hoping to embark on successful real estate careers or start businesses of their own.

He was a true entrepreneur in every sense of the word. He conceived the plans for Alarm Guard and Advanced Property Rental as part of his senior class project at Salisbury University in 1975 and went on to successfully establish both businesses in 1976. He began with very little experience, but with the unparalleled drive and determination that became his hallmark. He sold Alarm Guard in 1992, but still worked daily at Advanced Property Rental until the day of his passing. Always a health and fitness buff, he and two partners opened Olympia Fitness Club, which he also later sold.

To Donnie, a vacant lot often equaled an artist's blank canvas. He was a visionary. During the 1980s, he became active in commercial real estate development, and one cannot travel far along Eastern Shore Drive or Route 13 in Salisbury without seeing the results of these efforts.

He also changed the face of student housing in Salisbury with the building of such student-only housing developments as University Townhouses, Cedar Crossing, Varsity Lane and Williams Landing.

Donnie's drive and determination led him down the path from young, enthusiastic college graduate to being a well-respected pillar of this community. Always a champion for local landlords, he was a five time past-president and current member of the Salisbury Area Property Owner's Association.

He was also a past or current member of the board of directors of several local businesses and organizations, including the United Way and Shore Bank. He was a longtime Rotarian, and was named a Paul Harris Fellow by the Rotary Foundation as well as being a three-time recipient of the Rotarian of the Year Award. He was a member of Salisbury University's Varsity Club and President's Club, and was honored with the Salisbury University Alumni Award.

While under his ownership, Alarm Guard was the recipient of such honors as the B.P.W. Employer of the Year Award and the Maryland Federation of Business and Professional Women's Clubs' Employer of the Year Award for Outstanding Contributions to Women in the Workforce. Advanced Property Rental had been recognized by the Salisbury Chamber of Commerce with its Bronze Excellence in Business Award for two consecutive years.

Those who knew him best, however, will remember him most for his bright and infectious smile.

Donnie had been an avid baseball fan for most of his life. He was a catcher at Ryken High School when they were Maryland state champions in 1971, and had enjoyed reliving the memories with his former teammates during his recent high school reunion. He held season tickets to the Orioles for 18 years. His seats were located in the familiar view of a catcher, behind home plate. His goal was to attend games at all of the different stadiums.

He also enjoyed being in or near the water, either boating, jet skiing or simply appreciating the view, and found there was no place more relaxing than the beach in Ocean City.

Donnie is survived by his brothers, Pat Williams and wife, Cathy Jo, of Salisbury and David Williams of Dumfries, Va.; niece, Christi Jo Williams of Salisbury; niece/godchild, Cassandra Jane Williams and her fiancé, Currin Gass, of Salisbury; and his longtime companion, Linda Slacum, and her family.

A funeral service will be held at noon today at Holloway Funeral Home. Visitation was Wednesday from 6-8 pm and today one hour prior to the service. Interment will be in Shad Point Cemetery immediately following the service.

Contributions may be made to Emmanuel Wesleyan Church, 217 Beaglin Park Drive, Salisbury, Md. 21804.

Arrangements are in the care of Holloway Funeral Home PA, 501 Snow Hill Road, Salisbury. To express condolences to the family, please visit www.hollowayfh.com.

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Published in The Daily Times from May 22 to May 24, 2012
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