Commander Francis T. Williams of Sandwich passed away Feb. 25, 2013, after a courageous battle with brain cancer. He was the beloved husband of Janice (Tupper) Williams, father of Paul E. and his fiance Emily Judd, of Quincy, James T. and wife Qi Liyan of Pittsburgh and Beijing, and Petty Officer 2nd Class Matthew F. of Quincy. He was born in Framingham, MA, on June 27, 1951, son of the late Francis E. and Florence (Cogliandro). He was raised in Weymouth, Massachusetts. As a young man he served honorably as an enlisted Marine from 1969 through 1975. As a Marine, he was deployed to Vietnam as a forward observer for the 3rd Marine 9th Battalion. Prior to his career as a pharmacist, he served as a Weymouth Police Officer. Commander Williams was directly commissioned in 1994 as a Naval Lieutenant. His first assignment was the supervising pharmacist for the fifth floor satellite pharmacy at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. In 1996, he took an assignment to the Naval Hospital in Sigonella, Sicily, as Department Head of the Pharmacy. Over the course of his career, he was stationed in Groton Connecticut, Fort Dietrich Maryland, National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda Maryland and coordinated medical logistics aboard the USNS Comfort. His last stateside command was Portsmouth New Hampshire as the Officer In Charge. He deployed to Afghanistan from Bethesda as an embedded trainer for the Afghan National Army. Upon his return from Afghanistan, Commander Williams was assigned to the Defense Logistics Agency as the Chief of the Pharmaceutical Division and was again deployed as an Individual Augmentee to the Multi-National Security and Transition Command | Iraq. In 2011, his third deployment took him back to Afghanistan as the Commanding Officer of the 2nd Medical Battalion 2nd Marine Logistics Group, tasked with evacuating all critical wounded personnel. Commander Williams holds three degrees. A Bachelor of Science degree in Pharmacy from the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy, a Master of Science degree in Epidemiology from Harvard University and a Master of Arts degree in National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College. Commander Williams was a highly decorated Naval Officer having been awarded over twenty-five ribbons and medals; the following decorations he was most proud of were the: Marine Corps Combat Action Ribbon, Marine Corps Good Conduct, Vietnam Cross of Gallantry, Defense Service Ribbons- Vietnam, Afghanistan (2), Iraq, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Navy/Marine Corps Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Services Commendation Medal, Navy/Marine Corps Commendation Medal (4 awards), Army Achievement Medal, and the Navy/Marine Corps Achievement Medal. In 2012, Commander Williams was honored by Naval Health Care New England when the Warrior Health Clinic Portsmouth NH was renamed the "Commander Francis T. Williams Warrior Health Clinic". Commander Williams, or better known to his friends as Frank, was an avid salt and fresh water fisherman. He enjoyed working his lobster-boat as a young man and sailing his Morgan Sloop in his later years. He was a talented musician. He traveled for pleasure all over the globe but nothing brought him greater pleasure than following his beloved Patriots and Red Sox. In addition to his immediate family, he is survived by his brother George and sister in law Helen and their children, George and Cheryl of League City TX; his cherished sister-in-law Susan (Tupper) Seitzman and her husband Charlie; niece Jennifer Donovan and her husband Sean and their children Evelyn, Ronan and Gavin; niece Jillian Freitas-Haley and her wife Shelia; his Aunt Rita Cogliandro and many cousins. Visiting hours were held from 4 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, March 7, 2013 in the Nickerson-Bourne Funeral Home, 154 Rte. 6A in Sandwich. A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated at 11 a.m. on Friday, March 8, 2013 at Corpus Christi Catholic Church, 324 Quaker Meeting House Road, East Sandwich, followed by burial in the Massachusetts National Cemetery in Bourne. Donations in his memory may be made to the Semper Fi Fund www.SemperFiFund.org.
Published in Sandwich Broadsider from Mar. 3 to Mar. 10, 2013