Preston Williams, active in parish and diocesan work, dies


Preston T. Williams, 77, of Camden, an active member in the community and the Catholic Church for many years, died Saturday, Oct. 2.

Preston Terry Williams was born Aug. 23, 1933 in Columbus, Ohio.

He attended Catholic grammar schools in Columbus, and moved to Riverton, N.J., at age 16 to live with his brother, the late Murmond Williams. After graduating from Palmyra High School at 18, he served honorably in the National Guard for four years.

In 1956, Mr. Williams married Thelma Medley. This past September, the two celebrated their 54th wedding anniversary, along with their two grown children, Eva and Frank.

Mr. Williams worked at Cooper Hospital, H. Konstamm Chemical Company, and the Camden School Board of Education.

In the Diocese of Camden, Mr. Williams dedicated his time to various programs in the Catholic community, including work in the Cursillo movement. He was a religious education teacher; a Eucharistic Minister; and a volunteer at the soup kitchen in St. Bartholomew Parish, Camden.

He also was co-founder of the Black Catholic Ministry; and a member of the Camden County Ethics Committee, the Diocese of Camden’s Neighborhood Apostolate, Parkside Civic Group, and Father’s Club, Camden Catholic High School.

As a member of the Knights of Columbus, he served as the Grand Knight, Faithful Navigator, American Legion Commander, and was an honorary member of the Knights of St. Peter Claver. He also was the proud recipient of two Bishop’s Medals, as well as the Knight of St. Gregory Medal.

Mr. Williams was an avid bowler, good swimmer, and a lifeguard, but his family was most important to him.

He is survived by his wife, Thelma; daughter Eva Black (Rev. Nigel), of Gwynn Oak, Md.; son Frank P. Williams of Bear, Del.; five grandchildren, Coryn, Joshua, Rachel, Sarah, and Danita; one sister-in-law Charmaine Parker; two brothers-in-law, Nathaniel Parker and James Medley, Jr.; and a host of relatives and friends.

A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated on Saturday, Oct. 9, at The Parish of St. Josephine Bakhita, St. Bartholomew Church, Camden. Interment was at Calvary Cemetery, Cherry Hill.