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TOM R. WILLIAMS


1936 - 2014 | Obituary Condolences
TOM R. WILLIAMS Obituary
Tom R. Williams, 77, died February 16, 2014. He was born February 27, 1936 in Saline County to Del and Mary (Woolsey) Williams. His father died in 1941, his mother in 1997, and his step-father, O.G. Schroeder, died in 1986. Tom was a 1954 graduate of Marshall High School where he was a two year starting end on the Owls football team, and was vice- president of his senior class. From the age of 15, and until retirement, he was always employed. He had worked as a service station attendant, truck driver, construction laborer, farm hand, sign painter, loading dock worker, radio announcer and news director, newspaper reporter, revenue agent, teacher, lawyer, prosecutor, and a judge. He acquired his BA degree with studies at CMSC and Missouri Valley College. His law degree was from the University of Missouri at Kansas City where he was a member of UMKC Law Review and Phi Delta Phi Legal fraternity. From 1957, and into 1965, he was employed in broadcast radio and newspaper work. He was a disk jockey at KSIS in Sedalia and then became news director at KOKO in Warrensburg. While he was there, the station was purchased by the owner of the Warrensburg Star- Journal and Tom was recruited to also serve the paper as a reporter, photographer, and feature writer. That went quite well until he published a truth about the publisher and was fired. Following that event, Tom was listed in the 1965 edition of Outstanding Young Men of America. In 1967, he was a recipient of Missouri Attorney General's Outstanding Service Award. After the radio-newspaper adventure, Tom worked for five years as a field representative for the Missouri Department of Revenue. However, he remained involved in journalism. From 1964, and for more than 30 years, he authored under the pen name 'McNastie', political cartoons and editorial page columns for the Standard-Herald and Gazette newspapers in Warrensburg. In 1963, Tom won a seat on the city council and in 1964, at the age of 28 he was elected mayor of Warrensburg. In 1968 he was elected into the Johnson County Democrat Committee. In the field of law, he served as Warrensburg Municipal Judge, he was elected president of the Johnson County Bar Association, and in 1978 he served on the Missouri Bar Committee to instruct trial judges on the new criminal code. Tom was elected to five terms as Johnson County Prosecuting Attorney. There he handled all of the felony cases and never lost a trial. He also taught graduate level law for master's degree candidates at Whiteman Air Force Base. He maintained a private law practice in Warrensburg until his retirement in 1999. He was a member of the Warrensburg Masonic Lodge. Tom became a licensed pilot in 1965. Mostly, he flew antique and experimental airplanes. In 20 years of that activity, he survived one crash and two forced landings without grievous injury or serious property damage. He also collected and restored antique cars. In another hobby, he tried for 50 years to play the harmonica but was never any good at it. He and Sara were devoted to, and strongly supported animal protection causes. Their family always included at least one member with paws. Tom believed that if people behaved as well as dogs, there would be no need for lawyers. It is Tom's wish that no services be held and memorial contributions be made to: M'Shoogy's Animal Shelter, 11519 State Rt. C, Savannah, MO 64485 or Wayside Waifs, 3901 Martha Truman Road, Kansas City, MO 64137, in care of Campbell-Lewis Funeral Home. An online guestbook is available at www.campbell- lewis.com Tom is survived by his wife of 50 1/2 years, Sara (Goldin) Williams (M.H.S. '56), a son, Tom; a daughter, Dannon; and their families; and one brother, Dan Williams and family. He was preceded in death by his parents, step-father, one sister, Diana Woods; two step-brothers, Otto and Jim Schroeder; and one step- sister, Erietta Kunze.
Published in Kansas City Star on Feb. 23, 2014
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