William J. Williamson, Jr. ’51

William J. Williamson, Jr. ’51 of Blowing Rock, N.C., died October 27 at his home, surrounded by his loving family. He was born May 2, 1926, in Charlotte, N.C., a son of the late William Jordan Williamson, Sr. and Lilla Sue Wright Williamson. He was a graduate of Davidson College. He served his country in the Army Air Corps in World War II. He was a member of Joppa Masonic Lodge #530 and Oasis Shrine Temple. He was a charter member of Westminster Presbyterian Church in Charlotte, N.C., where he served as a deacon and an elder. He also served as an elder of Rumple Memorial Presbyterian Church in Blowing Rock, N.C. He began his career in classified advertising at the Charlotte News. He was vice president and advertising director of Eckerd Drugs of North Carolina for nineteen years. After ‘retiring’ to Blowing Rock, he served as General Manager of Tweetsie Railroad and owner of Stephen’s Restaurant. In 2006, he was honored for twenty-five years of service on the Blowing Rock Hospital Board of Trustees. He served for many years on the Board of the Blowing Rock Stage Company. Bill was a tireless advocate of travel and tourism in North Carolina, as one of the founders of North Carolina High Country Host, chairman of the North Carolina Travel and Tourism Board, member of the North Carolina Travel Council, and the 1989 recipient of the Charles J. Parker Travel Award. He is survived by his loving wife of fifty-nine years, Jean Barrett Williamson, P.O. Box 108, Blowing Rock, N.C. 28605-0108; daughter, the Rev. Betsy Williamson; sons, Bill Williamson III (Cathy) and Steve Williamson (Claire); grandsons, Jordan Williamson IV and Patrick Williamson; step-grandchildren, Mark Trivett (Hannah) and Elizabeth Trivett; sister-in-law, Sally T. Williamson; nephew, Jeff Williamson (Paula); and niece, Melissa Russell. He was preceded in death by his parents; his brother, Dukes W. Williamson; and nieces, Mary Jane Williamson and Susan W. Rowe.