Richard L. “Red” Williams, 87, of Spotsylvania County passed away peacefully on Wednesday, August 22, 2012, surrounded by family. He ended a long struggle with cancer, with the help of God and those he loved by his side.
He is survived by his wife of 67 years, Beulah J. Williams. He also leaves behind a daughter, Diana L. Williams of Caroline County, and a son, Dennis F. Williams and his wife Anne of Rappahannock County; three granddaughters, Jennifer Kleczkowski, of Spotsylvania, Elizabeth Campbell of Archdale, North Carolina, and Holly Graham of Georgetown, Kentucky. He lived to enjoy seven great grandchildren. Other survivors include his sisters, Ruby Barley, Ruth Smith, Rosalie Jarrell, and his brother, Robert Williams all of Spotsylvania.
Richard was a World War II veteran having served in the U.S. Naval Amphibious Force (U.S.S. LST-60) which participated in the Normandy Invasion on “D” Day, June 6, 1944. After the initial invasion, he made more than 50 trips to the invasion beachheads liberating the ports in order to deliver troops, vehicles, and supplies as well as transporting casualties and prisoners of war on the return trips.
He retired in 1974 from the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Dahlgren, as an administrative officer after 32 years of combined military and civilian service. He had received numerous medals, awards, and commendations for his service to the U.S. Navy. He was a long time member of the American Legion, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the U.S. Naval Memorial Foundation and a lifetime member of the Fredericksburg Pythian Lodge.
Richard was a man of great faith who put God and his family first in everything he did. His smile, positive attitude, and his care for others brought joy into the lives of everyone he met. He felt that one of his main goals in life was to “treat people right.” He attended Round Oak Baptist Church every week until he was no longer able to do so.
A graveside service with military honors will be held at noon on Saturday, August 25, 2012 at Sunset Memorial Gardens with the Rev. Randolph M. Newsome officiating. The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service at Covenant Funeral Service, Fredericksburg.
Pallbearers will be David Winn, James Smith, Chad Campbell, Daniel Graham, Don Farmer and Michael Shiflett.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Spotsylvania Volunteer Rescue Squad, to the National D-Day Memorial Foundation, P.O. Box 77, Bedford, VA., 24523 or to a favorite charity.
He had often said how grateful he was to have been given such a long life to spend with his family and friends. He remarked that “Old sailors never die — they just drift to a peaceful shore”.
“God saw him getting tired and a cure was not to be. So He put his arms around him and whispered, “Come to me.” With tearful eyes we watched him suffer and saw him fade away. Although we loved him dearly, we could not make him stay. A golden heart stopped beating, hard working hands to rest. God broke our hearts to prove to us He only takes the best.”