Robert Stewart Williams
1926 - 2014
Robert Stewart Williams passed away October 20, 2014 peacefully at home, surrounded by his loved ones. Robert was born on New Year’s Eve 1926 in Chicago Illinois to Paul and Ethra Doan Williams. One of four children he attended Arlington Heights Township High School. After graduating in 1944 he and his twin brother Bill enlisted in the Navy. Together they trained as aviation radiomen and gunners in carrier aircrafts and joined an Air Group in 1946.
He was honorably discharged in 1946 and remained in the reserves while attending Beloit College in Wisconsin. He enjoyed many activities including football, wrestling and track. He graduated in 1950 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Geology and maintained many life long friendships from his college days and loved returning for class reunions and to see his SAE fraternity brother.
While on break from graduate school from Northwestern University in 1951 he accepted a job on a seismic crew with Cities Service Oil and Gas in New Mexico. It was the start of a fulfilling career as a petroleum geologist. His work took him all over the world -- Dhofar (Oman), Senegal, Columbia, Indonesia, Argentina, Peru, Myanmar and many other places. He could always entertain with many stories from his adventurous life.
In 1983 Bob settled in Bakersfield and after retiring from Occidental Petroleum in 1988 he had more time to enjoy some of his other interests. He played golf at Buena Vista, always walking and carrying his clubs and was a member of a bowling league for over 30 years. During winter you could find him downhill skiing at Shirley Meadows. He loved fly-fishing and was a member of the Kern River Fly Fishing Club since moving to Bakersfield. Nothing gave him more pleasure than fishing Lake Success, the Kern, or in Oregon and Alaska with his two sons. He played tennis with the Siemon Park Tennis Group and enjoyed going to coffee at AMF Westchester Lanes with friends. He stayed active in his profession by attending meetings of the San Joaquin Geological Society, American Association of Petroleum Geologists and many others. In November of 2013 the brothers were fortunate enough to take part in the WWII Honor Flight to Washington D.C. and travel together as they had 69 years ago when they began their military service. He was proud of becoming a member of First Presbyterian Church where he attended services for almost 30 years.
Bob possessed a great joy for life and lived in the present. There was always an open chair at the table for the friends his children brought home or anyone else who stopped by; you never left hungry. He was a wonderful brother, father, uncle, grandfather and friend and will be greatly missed by the many people whose lives he touched.
He was preceded in death by his parents; Paul and Ethra, his sister Dorothy and brother Dale. He is survived by his twin brother William Williams (Karina) of Lakeway, TX, sister-in-law Elizabeth Williams of NJ, brother-in-law Thomas Orihel of PA; sons Terence (Jennifer) of Fairbanks, AK, Richard (Koreen) of La Grande, OR and their mother Emmy Williams of Santa Maria, CA; grandsons Elijah and William and many cousins, nieces and nephews.
A memorial service will be held Saturday, November 8, 2:00 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church of Bakersfield, 1705 17th St. Internment is scheduled for a family plot located in Rockford, Illinois. Information at robertswilliamsmemorialservice.blogspot.com
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the First Presbyterian Church of Bakersfield or to the charity of your choice.