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Richard F. Williams

Published: Saturday, April 19, 2014 1:15 a.m. CST

STERLING – Richard F. Williams, 72, of Sterling, died Wednesday, April 16, 2014, at his home.

He was born April 23, 1941, in Milwaukee, to Carl and Anne (Siefkin) Williams. He married Kathleen Blair on June 22, 1968, in Sterling.

Richard was a graduate of Sterling High School, class of 1959. He was a member of the National Honor Society and class president. Richard continued his responsibility to his classmates with honor as he helped plan every 5-year class reunion.

Richard retired from Northwestern Steel and Wire Co. in 1993, after 32 years of service. He served on the pension board for 9 years, and was involved in establishing the 401(k) for the employees. Richard was a proud member of Local 63, and sat on the ESOP board. He was a member of International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, and worked as calibrator and instrumentation technician on the East Coast.

Richard was an avid board game player, and enjoyed sparring with the SHS chess team. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, and gardening, as he continued to mentor children and grandchildren. 

Richard is survived by his wife, Kathleen Williams; children, Ann (Mark Nance) Skibbe of Prophetstown, Julie (Dan) Carpenter of Sherrard, Richard (Shelly) Williams Jr. and Scott (Laura) Miller, both of Sterling, Matt (Cecilia Grill) Williams of Hawthorn, Jenna (Dean) Wassell of Windsor, Conn., Jay Williams of Peoria, Stacy (Kevin Gryger) Melsness of Sterling, and Jacob (Deanna) Williams of Dixon; sister Carol Dohner of Sterling; 13 nieces and nephews; grandchildren Rodney Skibbe Jr., Marissa Dionne, Ryan Beeman, Jade Lewandowski, Justin Beeman, Richard Williams III, Nicole Williams, Jessica Rickenbaugh, Jordan Williams, Hailey Williams, Caleb Miller, Elliot Melsness, Micah Miller, Jared Frye, Isabella Williams, Gabrielle Wassell, Hunter Wilson, and Quinten Williams; and five great-granddaughters. 

He was preceded in death by his parents, Carl and Anne; his mother-in-law, Dorothy Blair; two brothers-in-law, William C. Blair and Glenn O. Dohner; one sister-in-law, Margaret A. Lindsay; and one granddaughter, Elisha Kay Beeman.

Visitation will be from 4 to 7 p.m. Monday at McDonald Funeral Home in Rock Falls. Celebration of the Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday at St. Mary Catholic Church in Sterling, with the Rev. James Keenan officiating. Burial will be at Calvary Cemetery in Sterling.

In lieu of flowers, a memorial has been established.

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