Charles Judson “Mike” Williams III ’49

Charles Judson “Mike” Williams III ’49 passed away peacefully in his sleep at his home in Jacksonville, Fla., on Feb. 20, 2012. He was 86. He was born on Nov. 28, 1925, in North Wilkesboro, N.C., the son of Louise Finley Williams and Patrick Murphy Williams. Because of wartime conditions, he entered Davidson two weeks later and was there until March 1944, when he joined the Army Air Corps at age 18. He served in the Air Corps for two years and became an aerial gunner on a B-29 flying out of Saipan. His crew was credited with flying 13 missions over Japan. He reentered Davidson graduating in 1949. While at Davidson, he played on the tennis, basketball, and football teams, a sports trifecta. He was considered by his Wildcat peers as the best athlete of his era, earning 10 letters in all. In basketball, he played four seasons (1944, ’47, ’49) and was co-captain for two years. In football, he played three seasons (1943, ’47, ’48) and was a member of the tennis team for two years. He was named all-state in basketball and was a third team All-Southern Conference selection. At Davidson, he was a member of the Student Council, junior class president, president of Kappa Sigma, and was named to Who’s Who Among American Students in Universities & Colleges. In 2000, Williams was inducted into the Davidson Athletics Hall of Fame. Williams was married to Jacqueline Chalmers of Portland, Ore., for 23 years, with whom he had four sons, and 33 years to Estelle Foerster of Jacksonville. Williams moved to Jacksonville in 1950 to work with Moore Dry Kiln Company, and had been a resident ever since. In 1977, he started Power & Pumps, Inc. He served as the president and CEO until 1999, then became chairman. In Jacksonville, Williams was a member of the Jacksonville Rotary Club since 1965, serving as president from 1994-95. He has been a trustee of the Edna Sproull Williams Foundation since 1982, serving terms as chairman. He has served on the board of directors for the Christian Healing Ministries (as president), Riverside Hospital, and Riverside Hospital Foundation. One of his proudest achievements was fundraising for Mercy Ships, an international charity that has operated hospital ships in developing nations since 1978. Williams was thoughtful, patient, forgiving, and steadfast in his beliefs, morals, and ethics, with a winning smile and an accommodating laugh. He was a devout Christian and an active member of the First Presbyterian Church and St. Mark’s Episcopal Church. He loved his sports, whether it was golf, tennis, basketball, football: he had all the bases covered. He is survived by four sons, Charles J. Williams, Jr. ’73, P.O. Box 2126, Winter Park, FL 32790, John C. Williams (Peggy Sue), David F. Williams ’78 (Lisa Olson Williams ’81), and Robert W. Williams (Heidi). He had eight grandchildren, Finley, Lindy ’13, and Andrew Williams, Maggie, Nadia, and Murphy Williams, and Nathan and Abby Williams. He has two stepchildren, David Foerster and Margaret Bratton. He is survived by one brother, Patrick M. Williams ’47, and numerous nieces and nephews [including Cameron Chalmers Maguire ’88].