Rev. Raymond W. Williams, 81, died Tuesday, November 22, 2016 at home in Wilder, VT after several years of declining health.
Ray was born June 9, 1935 in Denver, CO the son of Raymond R. and Nancy (Currie) Williams. He was predeceased by his beloved sister Charlotte who died in childhood. He graduated from Grand Junction High School in Grand Junction, CO class of 1953. Ray later received his Bachelors from the University of Colorado at Boulder and later attended seminary at Andover Newton Theological School in Newton, MA where he completed his post graduate work. He met the love of his life and future wife Jean Merrill as they worked together as social workers in the neighborhood of the South End House in Boston, MA. They were married on July 31, 1960 in New Gloucester, ME. This is where he was first called as a pastor to the First Congregational Church UCC. Later he served as a pastor in Greenfield, MA, and Baldwinville / Phillipston, MA for a time. He then found a home as the pastor of Stevens Avenue Congregational in Portland, ME for 25 years and the 6th Street Congregational Church in Auburn, ME for 3 years before retiring in 1998. In 2010, Ray and Jean moved to Wilder, VT to be nearer to their son and grandchildren.
Ray enjoyed his summer home on Bailey Island, ME where he spent 30 wonderful years making improvements on his beautiful ocean-side home and watching his children and grandchildren grow up there. Ray deeply loved Maine, the ocean, and traveling in his camper across the United States visiting friends and family. All who’ve known Ray will agree that he was one of the kindest, gentlest and most loving people they’ve met. He will be sorely missed by all, yet his grand spirit lives on in all of us.
Ray is survived by his loving wife Jean Williams of Wilder, VT; two sons, Ian Williams of Wilder, VT and Leif Williams of Martinez, CA; four grandchildren, Reid, Alexis, Jill and Leicia.
A memorial service will be held at a later date at the Stevens Avenue Congregational Church in Portland, ME. Condolences may be expressed to Ray and his family in an online guestbook atwww.knightfuneralhomes.com.
Memorial contributions may be made to: Stevens Avenue Congregational Church, 790 Stevens Avenue, Portland, ME 04103 or the Upper Valley Humane Society, 300 Old Rte 10, Enfield, NH 03748.