Weldon Calvin Williams Jr. was born on the seventh day of March 1933 to Weldon Calvin Williams Sr. and Josie Brown Williams of Brenham, Texas. He passed away on June 27, 2018, after a lengthy illness.
Weldon attended Main Street Baptist Church and later, Mount Rose Missionary Baptist Church. An outstanding student, he lettered in football and was president of the Student Council at Brenham’s Pickard High School, from which he graduated in 1950. He received a bachelor’s degree in science from Prairie View A&M College, where he completed four years of ROTC training. He earned the rank of First Lieutenant in the U.S. Army during his two years of service, mostly conducted in El Paso, Texas.
After a whirlwind romance, he married Winifred Faye Bigsby, also of Brenham, on Dec. 25, 1956. She soon joined him in Washington, D.C., where he earned a master’s degree in physics from Howard University. The couple then returned to Texas, where Weldon taught physics at Prairie View A&M.
With a growing family, Weldon and Faye moved in 1963 to Pittsburgh, Pa., where Weldon worked for 34 years at Bettis Atomic Power Laboratory as a nuclear analyst, nuclear designer, and an editor and writer for the naval nuclear design manual.
Weldon and Faye returned to Brenham in 1998. There, he worked as a substitute teacher in the Brenham school system and was a volunteer teacher in the city’s ESL program.
He served on the Brenham City Council from the time he was selected to fill an unexpired term in 2006 until the time of his passing. He was unopposed in his first race for the council and in every subsequent election. He loved Brenham and being able to serve as one of its representatives, and he never gave up hoping that he would return to his council seat. He is remembered there as a person who looked out not just for his own Ward 2, but for what was best for Brenham as a whole.
He was exceptionally fond of his membership on the advisory board of Brenham’s only public library, a position that held a special irony for him.
When he was a boy, Weldon was a curious child who was passionate about reading but was denied access to the town’s library because of the color of his skin. The shadow that crossed his face whenever he told that story would immediately be replaced with a smile when he’d talk happily about his children working in their school and town libraries in Pittsburgh and about the rainbow of colors of children who read and play together now at the Nancy Carol Roberts Memorial Library in Brenham.
For years, he was a member of the Library Advisory Board and he was instrumental in getting the library reconstructed and up to date technologically in 2016. His name is on a City Council plaque just inside the library’s door.
Weldon was a man of absolute integrity and a devoted husband and father who could always be turned to for great advice — often offering a completely unexpected gem that could make you see things in greater perspective or at least make you laugh. He was compassionate. He was forgiving. He was a people person who almost instantly made a new friend in everyone he met.
He loved science, logic, a good debate, the Pittsburgh Steelers, all types of music, saving and investing money, psychology, a line dance or any chance to dance, a really good pen, a great fish or steak dinner.
He stayed current to the end with events around the world, with technology for himself and his grandchildren, and with learning and growing.
Self-help and self-awareness books often dotted his shelves. Among them were “Man’s Search for Meaning” and one of his all-time favorites, “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.”
Even in his final days, he quoted that book, quizzing one of his daughters on the seven habits. His favorite was #5: “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.”
Weldon is survived by his wife of 61 years, Winifred Faye Williams, of Brenham, Texas.; children, Donna Williams Lewis of Stone Mountain, Ga., Dr. Weldon C. Williams III of Bronx, N.Y. and Rosa Gatling Williams of Newark, N.J., Laura J. Williams, of Richmond, Va., Maurice E. Williams and wife Izabella Jaskierny-Williams of Jersey City, N.J.; brother, Attorney Connie B. “Chipper” Williams and wife Patricia Hogan Williams of Houston, Texas; grandchildren, Angelo M. Lewis of Stockbridge, Ga., Marlena F. Lewis of New York, N.Y., Dr. Brittney M. Williams of Chapel Hill, N.C., Gibran C. Lewis of Stone Mountain, Ga., Samantha N. Williams of East Orange, N.J., Maurice Francis Williams, Maximillian Williams, Gabriel Williams and John Paul Williams of Jersey City, N.J.; sisters-in-law Marjorie Bigsby of Brenham Texas, and Lillian Bigsby Brown of Pittsburg, Texas, and many other relatives and friends.