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John I. Williams


1929 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
John I. Williams Obituary
John Insco Williams (born May 28,1929 in Dayton, Ohio to Harriette and Charles I. Williams) died peacefully in slumber on the 23rd of November 2016 in Brookline, MA. He is survived by: his wife of 57 years Hilkka M. Williams, his four children Sinikka Gallois, Anneli Williams, Tuulikki Killenberger and Matti Williams, his twelve grandchildren and eight great grandchildren. Additionally, he leaves behind his siblings: Nan Wilson, Suzie Wetzel, Sally Merrick,and Roger Williams along with many nieces, nephews and their families. John Williams received his Bachelor of Architecture from Cornell University in 1952, finishing second in his class, and a Master of Architecture from M.I.T. in 1953. John saw military service in the Army Corps of Engineers as a geodetic surveyor from 1953-1955. John was then a Fulbright Scholar in Helsinki, Finland 1956-1957. He worked as Transportation Planner for the city of Helsinki and subsequently met and married Hilkka Maarit Hamalainen in Finland on December 27, 1959. John Insco Williams enjoyed a distinguished career as a Transportation Architect in the U.S. with the National Capital Transportation Agency in Washington D.C. from 1961-1964 and most notably with the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority in Boston from 1965 until his retirement in 1996. John continued to work in a consulting capacity into his eighties. His love for his life's work, the depth of his knowledge and enjoyment of problem solving can not be overstated. John's character was something to behold. He loved: trains, lobster dinners, the music of Bach, Swedish detective stories, folk dancing, family,popcorn and beer. He did not like: neckties, greed, defective waffle irons, pomposity, poor workmanship, or automobiles of any make. Proud to call himself a curmudgeon, John grew a Mark Twain style scary mustache but failed to deflect the affection of others. He was modest, preferring to apply humor to life's provocations rather than resort to despair or malice. His good nature and love of the absurd remained in evidence even when in poor health towards the end of his life. He was his own person; he lived life well and remains well-loved. John's ashes will be interred in Finland and a family memorial will be held in March there. A gathering to celebrate John's life and legacy will be planned in Boston for May. For information regarding either, please contact Sheryl Williams at [email protected] com or by phone 413-204-2548.
Published in The Brookline Tab from Nov. 29 to Dec. 8, 2016
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