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Richard E. Williams (Col., USAF, Ret.) age 83, passed away on Tuesday, September 8, 2009. He was born 13 September 1925 in Honolulu, Hawaii, to Wallace and Marguerite Williams. He was predeceased by his parents and his sister, Peggy Emrich of Peabody, MA. He began his military career during World War II in 1943 after graduating from Thomas Jefferson High (Class of 1943). At the end of the war, he enrolled at Trinity University and graduated in 1949 with a BS degree with a Major in mathematics, and a double Minor in physics and chemistry. He married his high school sweetheart, Gloria Mabrito, in 1946, they celebrated their 63rd anniversary this past year. Having stayed in the reserves, he was recalled to active duty during the Korean War in 1950. He then decided to remain in the Air Force in order to complete his life-long dream of becoming a career military officer and pilot. This was his accomplishment after thirty one years of distinguished, proud and loyal service ~ he retired in 1974. His years encompassed many interesting assignments. In the 1950's, he flew as a flight test pilot in many jet aircraft, he was a member of the military central coordinating staff in Ottawa, Canada and served as the American Ambassador's pilot. In later years, he became chief of maintenance for the "F-5 Skoshi Tiger Evaluation" in Vietnam at which time he flew 303 combat missions in the F-5. He was most proud of his two distinguished flying crosses and his 13 air medals plus many other awards. Upon his return, he was assigned as the F-5 and T-38 systems manager at Kelly AFB. In 1968, he was sent to Wright Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio as director of Logistics for the F-15 Systems Program office. His last tour of duty was with the USAF Security Service (now known as the Intelligence Command of the USAF). After retirement from the USAF, he worked for Rockwell International as Manager for AWACS. He returned to San Antonio after retiring in 1988. He was a 32nd degree Scottish Rite Mason and Shriner and a Lifetime member of Order of the Daedalians. He is survived by his beloved wife, Gloria; daughter, Diana Rockwell and her husband, Don; grandsons, Bradford Kyle of Harper, Texas; Richard and Becky Rockwell of Little Elm, Texas, and brother, Wallace H. Williams of Florida. Visitation will be held on Thursday, September 10th from 6:00 P.M. to 8:00 P.M. at Porter Loring on McCullough.
GRAVESIDE SERVICE WITH FULL MILITARY
SEPTEMBER 11, 2009 10:15 A.M.
FORT SAM HOUSTON
NATIONAL CEMETERY 1520 HARRY WURZBACH MEMORIAL SERVICE
ST. MARKS EPISCOPAL CHURCH
315 E. PECAN
Rev. Michael Chalk officiating. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the American Lung Association, 8207 Callaghan Rd., San Antonio, 78230 or a charity of one's choice.
You are invited to sign the guestbook at www.porterloring.com.
Published in Express-News on September 9, 2009