Dr. Robert Edwin “Bob” Williams, 88

Dr. Robert Edwin “Bob” Williams of Lakeland, FL died unexpectedly of a sudden cardiac arrest at the age of 88 on May 10, 2020 while enjoying a small family gathering.

Bob is survived by his wife of almost 67 years, Mary Ann Dunn Williams, his daughter Jan Williams Cook (David) of Lakeland, FL and his son Scott Robert Williams (Elisabeth) of North Andover, MA, his beloved 5 grandchildren and their spouses: Sarah (Benjamin), Emily, Marianne (Chris), Lauren (Aaron), and James (Meredith) and by 4 great grandchildren: Ella, Harper, Hudson, and Olive. He is also survived by his sister Carol Collins Cook, his sister-in-law Ann Collins, and 7 nieces and nephews & their spouses. He will also be greatly missed by beloved household helper Edith Johnson.

Bob was born in 1932 in Washington, DC to James Steele Williams, Ph.D. and Anna Belle Thompson Williams. His precious mother died unexpectedly after a surgery in 1940, so “Bobby” gained a wonderful stepmother, older brother, and older sister when his dad remarried the next year. He grew up and attended schools in Washington, DC.

Bob met Mary Ann during their years at the University of Missouri and they married June 13, 1953. He graduated from George Washington University School of Medicine, Washington, DC and completed 2 additional years of surgery internship and residency there. He served his country for 2 years as a surgeon at Homestead Air Force Base, FL. He then graduated from the Johns Hopkins University Radiology Residency program in Baltimore, MD before moving to Lakeland.

Dr. Williams joined the Watson Clinic in 1963 as the group’s 27th physician and enjoyed serving our community as a radiologist, trained in diagnostics and radiation therapy with a subspecialty in mammography, for 33 years until his retirement. He loved Lakeland and raising his family here. They joined First Presbyterian Church in 1965 where they served in various capacities and were an active part of the Growth Sunday school class for decades. An avid golfer, Bob was a charter member of the Lone Palm Golf Club and enjoyed many happy hours there on the links with friends. He passed on his love of travel to his family with many wonderful trips in the United States and abroad.

He was predeceased by his parents, his beloved stepmother Myrtle Glass Collins Williams, and his brother Capt. John T. Collins.

The character qualities for which he will be most remembered are his kindness, his friendliness, his integrity, and his wonderful sense of humor. Countless others were graced with his characteristic handwritten notes of thanks, appreciation, and encouragement over the years.

In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to First Presbyterian Church, 175 Lake Hollingsworth Drive, Lakeland, FL 33801 or to Watson Clinic Cancer & Research Center, 1730 Lakeland Hills Blvd, Lakeland, FL 33805 designated for their breast cancer research in Dr. Williams’ memory.

A small private celebration of inurnment for the immediate family will be held at First Presbyterian Church columbarium. Given the current Covid-19 pandemic-related restrictions, a memorial service will be held at First Presbyterian Church at a later, more appropriate time for larger gatherings and air travel.

“If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10: 9-10
“Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope.” 1 Thessalonians 4:13

Condolences may be sent to the family at Heath Funeral Chapel.