Henry Williams '58 May 16, 2022 4:01 PM updated: May 16, 2022 4:03 PM
Dr. Henry L. Williams
February 8, 1935 — April 24, 2022
Henry Lee Williams, 87, went Home to be with his Lord on April 24, 2022.
Henry was born February 8, 1935 in Kosse, TX to O.T. and Elaska Williams. He graduated from Marlin High School in 1953. After a year of farming and oilfield work, he entered Texas A&M, working on campus to pay for school and graduating in 1958 with a degree in Agricultural Education. In his last year at A&M, he went on a blind date with a Baylor girl named Ruth Walker; they were married less than a year later on September 20, 1958. Two days later, they left for Elizabethtown, KY where Henry served in the Army, stationed at Fort Knox.
In January 1959, the couple moved back to Texas where Henry accepted a job as an Ag teacher at Columbus High School, while serving in the National Guard. Their daughter, Sherry, was born in August of that year and in January 1963, the young family moved to Marlin, TX where Stan was born in April. Henry was teaching Ag at his old high school and commuting to College Station at night to work on his Masters of Education degree. In 1968, they moved to College Station so Henry could complete his PhD in Agricultural Administration while continuing to work in the Ag Ed department at A&M.
Upon completion of his doctorate degree in 1971, Henry accepted a job offer with Brazosport Independent School District in Lake Jackson, TX where he spent the next 22 years serving as Director of Vocational Education, Assistant Superintendent, and Acting Superintendent on different occasions. He retired in 1993 and went back to work the next day in his same office as a “consultant” to oversee district construction projects for another 10 years. While in Lake Jackson, Henry immersed himself in the community serving as President of both the Brazosport Chamber of Commerce and the Brazosport Memorial Hospital Board of Directors, also volunteering with Habitat for Humanity.
Henry and Ruth returned to College Station in 2006 to escape the hurricanes and to be closer to Texas A&M. He was an Aggie football season ticket holder for 50 years, attended all the men and women basketball games for the last 16 years, and was a member of Texas A&M Century Club and 12th Man Foundation. He established 5 different scholarships at Texas A&M in honor of several family members and friends.
His love for A&M paled in comparison to his love for his wife, Ruth, and his family. His last trip was to Waco to see his grandson run track, and his last day on Earth included FaceTiming his granddaughter in Seattle and watering flowers with his great-grandkids.
Henry’s greatest love was his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Beginning with his ordination as a deacon at the First Baptist Church in Columbus in 1962, he actively served as a deacon in every church he attended for the remainder of his life. He visited church members and prospects in their homes, led witness training classes, and taught a young couples’ class for over 30 years. He gave generously to the church and various mission causes. He was a faithful and selfless servant-leader.
The following quote from a newspaper article about him at his retirement captured his humble attitude well: “A custodian told me one time that George Washington died and the world kept going,” Henry said. “The measure of how good a job you’ve done is how people carry on when you’re gone.”
He set a powerful example in both words (though few) and actions (many). He was a wise man of utmost integrity. He was, and is, respected by all who knew him. We are proud to call him dad, granddad, brother, uncle, father-in-law, and friend.
Henry is preceded in death by his beloved wife, Ruth, of 62 years; both parents; and sister Louise O’Neal and brother-in-law “Punk.”
Henry is survived by daughter, Sherry Rogers and husband Charles of College Station; son, Stan Williams and wife Laura of Mansfield, Texas; grandchildren, Richard Rogers and wife Yi-Chun of Hong Kong, Chelsea Connor and husband T.J. of College Station, Matthew Rogers and wife Amber of Burleson, Texas, Caitlin Moretz and husband Ron of Seattle, Washington, and James Williams and Betty Williams of Mansfield, Texas; great-grandchildren, Ezra, Nash, Emberly, Hadley, Luanna, and Brock; brother, Raiford Williams and wife Linda of Copperas Cove, Texas; as well as numerous in-laws, cousins, nieces, and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the church or charity of your choice in Henry’s name.