WILLIAMS - Robert John July 18, 1923 - July 9, 2013. Life-long Orchard Park resident Robert John Williams passed on after a brief illness on Tuesday, July 9th. Born and raised in Orchard Park, Bob attended DeVeaux Military School, Niagara Falls, where he graduated with academic and athletic honors in 1941. He attended Colgate University, Virginia Military Institute and graduated from the University of Buffalo. Bob was called to duty by the Army Air Corps in 1943, took a commission as a 2nd Lieutenant, and progressed through multi-engine flight schools to qualify as a B-17 bomber pilot. He was assigned to the 95th Bomb Group and on the way to England flew his aircraft low over Orchard Park. He was stationed in Horham on the east coast of England. On a bombing run to Zeitz, Germany in August 1944 his airplane was hit by another bomber that had been crippled by flak, and he and his crew had to bail out. While interned as a POW in Stalag Luft 3 he met some of his VMI classmates - they were in the "Long March" in the winter of 1945. He was awarded a Purple Heart. Returning to his beloved Orchard Park at the close of WWII, Bob married Betty Jones in 1945 and started a family. He co-founded Bison Paint Supply from which he retired in 1983. He was active in the Orchard Park Fire Department, Little League, and served as the President of The Orchard Park Senior Citizens for eight years. Bob will be deeply missed by his loving wife of 39 years, Carol. He is survived by six children: Robert Jr, Elizabeth, Thomas, Loren, Carla, Erik, nine grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. The family will receive friends at a Memorial Service at the Orchard Park Community Church on Sunday, July 28 at 2:30 PM. Contributions to the Orchard Park Senior Citizens Center Fund are greatly appreciated.
The Guest Book is expired.
Published in the Buffalo News on July 24, 2013