Archived Story

John Edgar Williams

Published 12:06am Sunday, September 22, 2013

Jan. 3,1922 – Sept. 20, 2013

NATCHEZ — Services for John Edgar Williams, 91, of Natchez, who died at his residence Friday, Sept. 20, 2013, will be at 11 a.m. Monday at First Presbyterian Church with the Rev. Denny Read and the Rev. Noelle Read officiating.

Private burial will follow in the Natchez City Cemetery under the direction of Laird Funeral Home.

Visitation will be from 10 a.m. until service time Monday at the church.

Mr. Williams was born Jan. 3, 1922, in Hotchkiss, Colo., the son of Edgar Lee Williams and Clara Schillig Williams.

He attended Denver public schools and graduated from the University of Colorado with a bachelor of science in chemical engineering in 1943. He was elected president of the Chi Psi social fraternity.

He enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Force during World War II and served with the U.S. Department of Agriculture research laboratories in Orlando, developing insecticides and insect repellents for use in the South Pacific war operations.

Following discharge, he had a 31-year career in Chevron Corporation’s production operations, beginning in the Cranfield natural gas plant and ending with the last 20 years in New Orleans, mostly overseeing the company’s labor relations programs in Mississippi, Louisiana and the Gulf of Mexico.

Upon retirement, he returned to Natchez as a gentleman farmer, where he resided for the past 36 years. He has been an active member of First Presbyterian Church of Natchez, serving five terms as elder on its governing body, the session. He served two terms as president of the Natchez Historical Society and one term as a board member of the Mississippi Historical Society, and most recently had dedicated his efforts to the preservation of the Natchez Bluff.

Survivors include his beloved wife, Nancy Beaton Williams; three children, John Lawrence Williams of New Orleans, Dr. Diana Williams Wilson of Natchez, Margaret Frances Feagans of Stafford, Va.; 10 grandchildren, Amelie Wilson Sanders of Norwalk, Conn., Nancy Wilson McKnight of Nashville, Tenn., Mary Elizabeth McGehee Taylor of Durham, Conn., John Haspel Williams of Roseville, Calif., Lt. William Ross McGehee of Naples, Italy, George Hamilton Wilson, of Austin, Texas, Christopher Lawrence Williams of New Orleans, Tristan Anderson Wilson of New Orleans, Melissa Camille Williams of New Orleans and Martha Jane Williams of New Orleans; 11 great-grandchildren, Catherine Witherspoon, Mary Spenceley, Margaret Sophia and William Andrew Taylor, Evelyn Amelie, Anne Wilson and William Alexander McKnight Jr., Arman Liam and Aidan Cyrus McGehee, Marion Williams and Wynn Stratton Sanders III; and sister-in-law, Diana Beaton Gillam of Lake Elsinore, Calif.

Honorary pallbearers are the members of his Men’s Prayer Breakfast Club and the Tuesday Coffee Club.

The family requests that memorials be made in Mr. Williams’ memory to the Bluff Beautification Fund in care of Donnie Holloway, P.O. Box 1185, Natchez, MS. 39121.

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