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Walter Mansfield Williams

1922 - 2013 Obituary Condolences
Walter Mansfield Williams Obituary
Walter Mansfield Williams, 91, of East Lansing passed away peacefully at Hospice of Lansing on December 18, 2013.

Born January 24, 1922, in Jonesville, MI., he graduated from the University of Michigan, School of Engineering and then served as a Lt. J. G. in the United States Navy during WWII. He married Ann Harwood Williams of Hillsdale, MI., on August 29, 1942, and after the war, they settled in the Detroit area. Following his childhood dream and fascination, he spent his early engineering career with the railroads. From 1960-1982 he served as Chief Engineer of Survey in the Public Works Division of the City of Detroit where he was the guiding force behind the People Mover and helped develop sections of the downtown freeway system. He importantly maintained and updated all city maps.

Perhaps because Walt was a direct descendant of our country's first Surveyor General, Jared Mansfield, he grew up with a passion for U.S. History and cartography. He was a true Renaissance man with wide-ranging interests from collecting all things Civil War, maps and guns to exploring many areas of the world, birding, sailing, reading, painting, and building miniature steam engines. The Williams cottage, at Stony Lake, MI, was designed and completed by Walt and will remain the center for happy family gatherings.

Walt's wife of 64 years, Ann, preceded him in death, but he is survived by his three children, Connie (Bob Eubank) of Oxford, MS, Chris (Bill Triola) of East Lansing, MI, and Stuart (Jackie Rinder) of Annapolis, MD.; five grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. He was beloved by all who met him, but especially leaves many good friends at Abbott-Parkside Senior Apartments and Hannah Senior Center.

A memorial service will be held this spring in celebration of Walt at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Greater Lansing. In lieu of flowers, please send contributions to the Audubon Society.

The family is being served by Gorsline Runciman Funeral Homes, East Lansing. On line condolences may be made at www.greastlansing.com.
Published in The Hillsdale Daily News on Dec. 19, 2013
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