East Lyme - John "Jack" Luverne Williams, 90, of Mohawk Drive, Niantic, died Saturday, April 28, 2012, at Fairview in Groton.
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Jack was born May 14, 1921, in New London, the son of John A. and Emma Williams. He was the husband of Dorothy Williams, who predeceased him in 2004.
Jack graduated from the former Bulkeley School in New London in 1940, where he was co-captain of the football team and played basketball and volleyball. He was better known to his classmates and teammates as "Sweet Williams." Soon after graduation he joined the Army where he got the opportunity to become a pilot in the Army Air Force. He graduated as a pilot, from the Advanced Flying School at Moody Field, Ga., in 1943. Shortly thereafter he was assigned to Thorpe Abbotts Field, England, as a B-17 co-pilot. During his 12th mission (Regensburg) Aug. 17, 1943, his plane was hit and the crew had to bail out over Chieti, Italy, where he was picked up by German-Italian troops. He was a POW in various camps in Italy and Germany until April of 1945. He was awarded numerous medals including two Air Medals (meritorious achievement while participating in arial flight), two European African/Middle Eastern Camp Medals, American Defense Medal, Prisoner of War Medal, WWII Victory Medal, Army of Occupation Medal, and Army and Air Force Presidential Unit Citation. After the war he remained in the Air Force Reserves achieving status of major until retiring in 1981.
In 1946, he attended Bridgeport University, graduating in 1950 with a bachelor of science degree in accounting. After graduation, he was employed by General Dynamics in Groton as an accountant, retiring in May of 1986.
Jack is survived by two sons, Gary Williams and his wife, Pamela, of Las Vegas, Nev., Jeffry Williams and his wife, Diana Clark, of Lisbon; two daughters, Susan Stoessel and her husband, Robert, of Loxahatchee, Fla., Mary Graves and her husband, Michael, of East Lyme; and six grandchildren, Felia, Tara, Christian, David, Alyssa, and Cassie.
He was predeceased by a daughter, Karen J. Williams; two brothers, Fred and Jerald Williams; and a sister, Yvonne Camp.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m on Tuesday, May 1, at St. Agnes Church, Niantic. Interment will follow in Gardner Cemetery, New London. There will be a calling hour from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. Tuesday at the Thomas L. Neilan & Sons East Lyme Funeral Home, 48 Grand St., Niantic, prior to the Mass. Immediately after the burial, there will be a party in honor of Jack at his daughter Mary's house in East Lyme.
Donations in Jack's memory may be made to St. Agnes Church, 22 Haigh Ave., East Lyme, CT 06357.
Published in The Day on Apr. 30, 2012