SALAMANCA - 1st Sgt. Robert E. Williams, 60, died peacefully Saturday (Feb. 2, 2013) at the Absolut of Salamanca following a long illness.
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Born Sept. 8, 1952, in Olean, he was a son of the late Robert and Marion Roy Williams.
He grew up in the Southern Tier and was a graduate of Salamanca High School's class of 1970.
1st Sgt. Williams enlisted in the U.S. Army at Fort Dix, N.J., in 1970. He served with the 196th Light Infantry in Vietnam, where he was wounded and awarded a Purple Heart. He attended AIT school at Fort Sam Houston, Texas; jump school at Fort Benning, Ga.; and Special Forces training at Fort Bragg, N.C. He served with the 502nd ADJ Replacement Detachment at Fort Hood, Texas, and served in Puson, South Korea, during 1976 and 1977. He served with the 93rd EVAC Hospital in Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., where he was instrumental in serving with the EFMB program at the 93rd EVAC Hospital, which resulted in the training of 400 expert field medics.
From 1984 to 1987, he served as Operations Sergeant of the 97th General Hospital in Germany. In 1988, he assisted as the senior medic in charge of operations during the movement of nerve gas bombs (wet eye) in Denver, Colo.
He was awarded the Bronze Star, the ARCOM Conduct Medical Badge, and the Meritorious Service Medal, among several other honors.
In 1990, 1st Sgt. Williams retired to Denver, Colo., at the age of 38, where he met his wife, Suzanne Becker. They married in 1994.
They returned to the Salamanca area in 2000, where he worked at Salamanca Lumber and the City of Salamanca School District before he retired in 2007.
He enjoyed the outdoors, camping, fishing and shooting pool. He was a life member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars John F. Ahrens Post 5296, the American Legion Hughes-Skiba Post 535, and a social member of the Holy Cross Athletic Club.
Surviving besides his wife are his daughter, Kathy (Bryon Lehman) of Tucson, Ariz.; his son, Chris (Maria) and their children Christopher, Ahlina and Kade of Huachuca City, Ariz.; one brother, Steve (Susan) Williams and their daughters Wendy and Jennifer of Altoona, Pa.; and many friends.
Friends may call at the O'Rourke & O'Rourke Inc. Funeral Home, 25 River St., Salamanca, for a memorial visitation on Wednesday (Feb. 6, 2013) from 11 a.m. to noon, at which time funeral and committal services will be held, with the Rev. Patrick Melfi, pastor of Our Lady of Peace Parish, officiating.
Full military honors will be conducted by members of the American Legion Hughes-Skiba Post 535 and the Veterans of Foreign Wars John F. Ahrens Post 5296.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials to the Homeless Veterans in care of the Veterans of Foreign Wars John F. Ahrens Post 5296.
E-condolences can be sent to email@example.com or posted to www.facebook.com/onofh.
Published in The Olean Times Herald on Feb. 5, 2013
O'Rourke & O'Rourke Inc Funeral Home
25 River Street Salamanca, NY 14779