Chester Thomas Williams died at his home on February 6,2018. He was 97.
Born on January 15, 1921, Bud, as he was known, attended Milton School and was a graduate of Rye High School, class of 1941. He married his school sweetheart, Marion O’Hara.
He served with distinction in World War II. Over the course of his four-year tour of duty in the U.S. Navy from 1941 to 1945, he served on PT boats 108 and 106 during the Solomon Islands campaign. There, he was involved in nighttime encounters between his unarmored boat and armored, troop-carrying Japanese barges, shore batteries, and aircraft. He was Quartermaster on PT 106 and in the immediate vicinity the night John F. Kennedy and his PT 109 crew were rescued.
After the war, he returned to pursue his education at Ohio Wesleyan from which he received his undergraduate degree, and at Columbia University, where he received his Master’s in Social Work in 1952.
In the course of his long career, he held a number of social service positions, notably, as Associate Director of International Social Service in New York City and Health Consultant for the Westchester Council of Social Agencies.
He was a member of the Westchester County Board of Health, the Westchester Council for the Disabled, and the New York State Recreation and Parks Association, and a consultant for several nursing homes in the area. At the end of his career he was Director of the Westchester Lighthouse for the Blind.
Mr. Williams loved his community and was a presence in Rye. He served as founding president of The Friends of Rye Town Park and could often be found playing tennis on the Rye Recreation courts, at the Rye Free Reading Room, and with his wife at Oakland Beach or on Playland Boardwalk.
“His vibrant, engaging nature and friendly demeanor endeared him to all,” said his family.
Bud and Marion Williams were married for close to 70 years. She predeceased him. He is survived by his sons, Chester of Sherman, Conn. and Robert of Poughkeepsie, N.Y.; his daughter, Victoria Beaver of Brooklyn, N.Y.; six grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; and his beloved and longtime caregiver, Georgina.