The Daily Star, Oneonta, NY - otsego county news, delaware county news, oneonta news, oneonta sports

March 29, 2013

Roger Williams

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The Daily Star

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ONEONTA — Roger Williams of Oneonta crested his final wave March 26, 2013, at A.O. Fox Memorial Hospital.

He was born March 18, 1927, in New Berlin, the youngest son of Katherine (Roberts) and Robert Williams.

Roger grew up in New Berlin and enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1944. Although quiet regarding his service during World War II, he was very proud of his tour of duty on the Destroyer U.S.S. Black, a member of the Pacific Fleet. Beginning on his 18th birthday off the shores of Okinawa Japan until August of 1945, the ship was heavily engaged in combat. Roger was a Machinist’s Mate 3rd Class earning an American Theatre Medal, Victory Medal, Asiatic Pacific Medal, two Bronze Stars and a Philippine Liberation Ribbon.

After his honorable discharge from the Navy in June 1946, Roger returned to New Berlin where he worked for a time at Kraft Foods in South Edmeston.

He loved cars and went into business with Nathan Clark who owned the Chrysler-Plymouth dealership. He eventually became sole proprietor and was very successful in the automotive business.

During his years in New Berlin, he served as village mayor for much of the 1960s, was captain of the volunteer fire department, and was an active member of the American Legion and the Masonic Lodge.

Upon selling his dealership in 1977, Roger moved to Oneonta, where he owned and operated Thirty Nine–Fifty Auto Mart on Main Street and partnered in a U-Haul rental business with his friend, Gary Munson. He loved cars and being at work. Roger just could not imagine what he would do if he “retired.” He was still at his “shop,” six days a week, until his recent illness.

He was a member of the United Methodist Church in Oneonta and volunteered at the City of Oneonta Youth Center.

In his life, Roger was an avid golfer and staunch NY Yankees fan, rumored to have seen every televised game during the season. He enjoyed reading, History, politics and biographies were his staples, and any distraction, disruption, or commotion during the Evening News was heavily frowned upon.

Roger married VineAdell (Barnhart) Stiles in 1951, and they had two daughters, Faye and June. He later married Roberta (Rickard) Rogers in 1985.

He is survived by his wife, Bobbi of Oneonta; his two daughters, Faye Williams of Morris and June (Scott) Reese of Charlotte, N.C.; his stepchildren, Michele Rogers of Hampton, Va., Colleen Rogers of New Berlin and William (Aida) Rogers II of Davenport Center; his grandchildren, Katherine Madnick of Norwich, Ephraim Tuttle of Boston, Mass., Kristin Rogers of New Berlin, Benjamin Rogers of Davenport Center; and his great-granddaughter, Kera Thompson of Norwich.

He was predeceased by his four older brothers, Glynn, Roscoe, Berwyn and John.

Calling hours are at the Lester R. Grummons Funeral Home, 14 Grand St., Oneonta from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, March 30, 2013.

There will be a service at the First United Methodist Church, 66 Chestnut St., Oneonta at 1 p.m. Tuesday, April 2, 2013. Burial will follow in Fairview Cemetery in New Berlin with Navy honors.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Catskill Area Hospice, 1 Birchwood Drive, Oneonta, NY 13820.

Condolences to the family may be made online by visiting the website at www.grummonsfuneralhome.com.

Arrangements are by the Lester R. Grummons Funeral Home, Oneonta.