Dr. Rebecca (Nelson) Williams (1966 - 2014)

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Dr. Rebecca Nelson Williams, 48, Simsbury, Connecticut, passed away peacefully Sunday, Oct. 19, 2014 after a brief illness.
Born May 4, 1966, in DuBois, she was the daughter of Jack and Esther Nelson. She married Clifford Leo Williams Jr. in May of 1997 and was the loving mother of Evan and Clara.
In her much-too-short lifetime, Rebecca balanced two remarkable passions, her work and her family.
Rebecca's love of science began during her years at DuBois Area High School, from which she graduated in 1984. She was also a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Penn State University, where she was known for her intellect, kindness and willingness to help other students better understand science.
Rebecca attended the Temple University School of Medicine, where she was inducted into the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society. After medical school, she completed a residency in anatomic and clinical pathology and served as a Senior Clinical Fellow in surgical pathology at The Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions.
At Johns Hopkins, Rebecca developed her skills as a pathologist and teacher, created lifelong friendships, and met her husband, Cliff Williams.
After her residency and fellowship in Baltimore, Rebecca and Cliff moved to Simsbury, Connecticut, where Rebecca accepted a position with Hartford Pathology Associates.
Over the years, in her multiple roles as a Senior Pathologist and Residency Program Director, it was evident that she had a gift for training others in the field of pathology.
Rebecca was greatly admired for her professional roles as a surgical pathologist and Residency Program Director for the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at Hartford Hospital. Throughout the years she was a consummate mentor and strong resident advocate who was trusted and respected by the residents in the program. She served as a perfect model for young pathologists in training as she gave of her time, and considered their interests above her own.
In recognition of her exemplary performance as Program Director, the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education selected Dr. Williams from among the 8400 Program Directors in the United States as a finalist for the Parker J. Palmer Courage to Teach Award in 2008.
In addition to her work with pathology residents, Rebecca was known as a gifted pathologist and administrator who earned the admiration of her colleagues.
As important as her work at Hartford Hospital was, Rebecca's greatest role was as a mother to her two children, Evan and Clara. She provided them unconditional love and nurtured them as they have grown into kind and giving individuals in their own right.
Her love for her family was unequaled. She delighted in both relaxing times at home and family adventures like their most recent cruise to Alaska. She cherished the time spent with her husband and children, who will undoubtedly feel the void, but will be able to hold on to many fond memories.
Rebecca leaves her husband, Cliff Williams; son, Evan Williams; daughter, Clara Williams; mother, Esther Nelson, all of whom are of Simsbury; and sister, Dr. Regina Nelson (Michelle Skala) of Mauston, Wisconsin.
She was preceded in death by her father, Jack Nelson; and her grandparents, Arthur and Mamie Yale and George and Grace Nelson.
A public celebration of Rebecca's life will be held in Heublein Auditorium in the Education and Resource Center of Hartford Hospital, on the corner of Hudson Street and Jefferson Street in Hartford at 11 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 8.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made in Rebecca's name to the American Brain Tumor Association on their website at www.abta.org , by phone at 773-577-8750, or mailed to their address at 8550 W Bryn Mawr Ave Ste 550, Chicago, IL 60622, or to a .
Published in The Courier Express from Oct. 23 to Oct. 24, 2014
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