It didn't take a magician to survive Nazi Germany's Stalag XVIIB, but it didn't hurt. The boredom, demoralization and deprivation were all orchestrated to demean the American POWs. Walter Williams, a young Army Air Corpsman from Galion, Ohio was shot down January 11, 1944, captured by the Germans, and held in the Stalag – and survived a forced march across Austria – before his liberation in May of 1945.
Walter F. Williams, Jr., authored six books, some detailing his military experiences. All were published and sold out.
He passed away Monday afternoon December 30, 2013 in Mill Creek Nursing Center in Galion. He was 91.
Born July 9, 1922 in Galion, he was the son of Walter F. Williams, Sr. and Alma (Hartman) Williams, and was graduated from Galion High School in1940.
After his military service with the U.S. Army Air Corps' 91st 325 Bomb Group, he returned to Ohio to work on a farm near Norwalk. He later worked at Galion Lumber for 22 years, as a manager for 15 years. He then accepted a position in sales at Fisher Printing, serving there 17 years. Walter also served as a special deputy for the Morrow County Sheriff Department.
A magician, Walter was elected president of the International Brotherhood of Magicians in 1976 which boasts memberships in 75 countries and remained a member of International President of International Brotherhood of Magicians.
A long-time member of Trinity Lutheran Church in Galion, Walter also belonged to the Galion Historical Society, American Legion Scarbrough Post 243, V.F.W. Post 4329, AMVETS Polk Township Post 1979, Army Navy Club, Disabled American Veterans, American Ex-Prisoners of War Stalag 17B, Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels, and was a mainstay of local Veteran Day parades and observances. His hobbies included fishing and hunting, gardening and writing.
Surviving are a daughter and son-in-law Carolyn Williams and Frank Martinez of Redmond, WA; granddaughter Lauren Martinez of San Francisco; a brother-in-law Charles Webberley of Sunland, Calif.; and sisters-in-law Madonna Williams of Sebring, Fla. and Jean Williams of Winter Park, Fla.
He was preceded in death by his wife of 66 years Lucy (Brockman) Williams on December 16, 2009. Also deceased are two brothers Richard and Jack Williams and a sister Lorena Webberley.
Friends may call from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, January 5, 2014 at Snyder Funeral Home Richardson Davis Chapel in Galion. A funeral service will be held at 10:30 a.m. Monday, January 6 at Trinity Lutheran Church, 291 N. Union Street, Galion with Rev. Anne Pairan officiating. Burial will be in Fairview Cemetery in Galion.
Full military graveside honors will be bestowed by the U. S. Army and the Galion Crestline Veterans Military Funeral Detail.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Trinity Lutheran Church, Galion in care of Snyder Funeral Home, Richardson Davis Chapel.
Snyder Funeral Home Richardson Davis Chapel is honored to serve Mr. Williams' family, and private condolences to them may be made online at: www.SnyderFuneralHomes.com.
Snyder Funeral Home Richardson-Davis Chapel
218 S. Market Street Galion, OH 44833
Published in The Galion Inquirer on Jan. 4, 2014