Captain John Robert Williams, age 82, passed on July, 24 2019 in Corpus Christi Texas. He was born on October 30, 1936 to Robert and Emily Williams in Marion, Indiana. He graduated from the United States Merchant Marine Academy on August 7th, 1959 and married Gerd Williams, the love of his life two days later on August 9th 1959. They were married for 60 years.
Captain Williams served in the Navy for 3 years and remained in the Navy Reserve for multiple years during his long and colorful maritime career. He was honorably discharged from the Navy at the rank of Commander. From 1967 until 1978 he was employed as a canal pilot by the Panama Canal Company in the Canal Zone of Panama. He was actively involved in the Panama Canal Pilots’ Association and served as President of the Panama Canal Pilots during the crucial and tumultuous time of the Panama Canal Treaty negotiations in 1977. His efforts were instrumental in securing an early retirement option for all of the Canal Zone employees at that time.
In 1978 he accepted a harbor pilot position in Corpus Christi Texas. He retired to Utopia Texas in 1998.
He will always be remembered for his devotion to his wife and family as well as his passion for ships, the sea and adventurous travel.
Captain John Williams is survived by his wife Gerd Williams of Utopia Texas, daughter and son in law, Lisa and Tim Keith- Lucas of Carrabelle Florida, daughter Karen Edwards of Fayetteville Georgia, son Robert Williams of Utopia Texas and son and daughter in law, Captain and Mrs. John Williams of Corpus Christi Texas. He leaves behind 2 sisters; Linda Bassett of Kittery Maine and Sara Julian Williams of Bozeman Montana. He also leaves behind 7 grandchildren and 5 great grandchildren.
His ashes will be released to the sea he loved during a memorial service at a later date.