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1942 - 2019
Dr. George "Bud" Williams, Jr., age 77, who taught at Wheaton College since 1963, died peacefully with his family at his bedside on June 12, 2019. He was born in Philadelphia, PA on May 28, 1942, and was raised in New York and Pennsylvania. He attended Penn State University where he was a gymnast on the Nittany Lions Division I national championship gymnastics team. He was also a ROTC battalion commander and a runner up for a Rhodes Scholarship. He received a full scholarship to Yale to pursue a Ph.D. but decided to first study one semester at Wheaton College. By 1963, he was teaching a full load as a graduate T.A. and coached the men's gymnastics team, which eventually won a Division III national championship in 1976. With gymnastics, he initiated the first sports ministry program at Wheaton College by taking the gymnastics team to Haiti in 1965. The rest of his teaching career was to be at Wheaton except for a three year interlude from 1966-69 to fulfill his military obligation. During this time, Captain Williams was a professor and coach at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point where he met his wife, Edie, and married in the cadet chapel in 1967. He then returned to Wheaton College. He was also a longtime teacher, staff member, program director and board member at Wheaton's HoneyRock Camp in Three Lakes, WI. At HoneyRock, he developed the Vanguard program which later became Passage. He served for 12 years as chair of the board of trustees for Christian Camping International with a membership of 5,000 camps worldwide, was the organization's historian, and helped start the Brazilian Association in 1983. Dr. Williams served as board member and chair of Dickson Valley Camp for many years. He has been a member of College Church since 1973. He is survived by his wife Edie, his sons Nate (Ginny) and Cameron (Christine) Williams, daughter Noelle (Greg) Hogan and 9 grandchildren. He is also survived by some 14,000 students who benefited from his teaching and mentoring since 1963. A visitation will be held on Sunday, June 16, 2019, from 3:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. at Hultgren Funeral Home, 304 N. Main St., Wheaton, IL. Burial will be private at Wheaton Cemetery. A memorial service is being planned for a later date. Memorial contributions can be made to HoneyRock, 8660 Honey Rock Road, Three Lakes, WI 54562 or Dickson Valley Camp & Retreat Center, 8250 Finnie Road, Newark, IL 60541.
Published in Chicago Suburban Daily Herald on June 13, 2019
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