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Francis J. Williams Jr.
March 5, 1927 ~ July 20, 2022 (age 95) 95 Years Old
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WILLIAMS – Francis J. "Mike" Williams, Jr., died at 95 on July 20, 2022 in Southbury, Connecticut. Mike was born in the Bronx, New York, on March 5, 1927, to Francis J. and Helen Williams and was the eldest of their three children. He spent his childhood primarily in Island Park, New York. He graduated from Oceanside High School in 1944, from Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a mechanical engineering degree in 1949, and from New York University with a masters in engineering degree in 1953. Before graduating from MIT, Mike took a leave to enlist in the Navy towards the end of WWII and was stationed in Lido Beach, New York. At age 26, he married Joan Probst, also of Island Park, who died in December 2017. Mike worked as a mechanical engineer, primarily in the nuclear field, ending his career at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in Washington, D.C. at the age of 70. Mike had a wonderful voice and loved to sing. He was a member of the Connecticut Mad Hatter Chorus in the 1960s. Mike stayed healthy and active almost to the last year of his life. After Joan's death, Mike volunteered to help and sing to the residents at The Lutheran Home in Southbury, Connecticut, where Joan had lived her last years. After retirement, he was always learning: he studied several instruments as well as music theory; he studied Spanish for years at Norwalk Community College and took two trips to Spain with his class; and, after the age of 90, he studied writing and took art classes at Arts Escape in Southbury and quickly became a good artist. He was very funny and quite a talker; he told great stories and loved meeting and listening to other people and was simply an eminently likable and popular guy wherever he went.
He is survived by his six children, twin daughters Katherine "Katie" Wagner of Fairfax, Virginia, and Frances Kushner (Luke) of Annapolis, Maryland; his daughter Jeanne Malley of Woodbury, Connecticut; his son Patrick (Lisa) of Waynesboro, Virginia; his daughter Amy of Woodbury, Connecticut; his son Robert "Ben" of Cumberland, Maryland; his six grandchildren Ryan and Austin (Lauren) Wagner, Robert and Michael Kushner, Caroline Waller (John) and Katie Williams, and his two great grandchildren Kaiden Tyler-Kushner and Elliot "Ellie" Wagner. He is also survived by his youngest brother William F. "Willy" Williams (Jeanne) of Blue Point, New York, and their children Francis J. "Mike" (Maggie), Amy "Kitty," and Helen. He was predeceased by his brother John P. "Jake" Williams of Plano, Texas, who died in June 2018 and is survived by Jake's children Julie (Mark), John, Leigh, and Taylor. He is also survived by sister-in-law Penny Williams and numerous in-laws and nieces and nephews on the Probst side of the family. A Memorial Mass will be held on Saturday, August 27th, at 10:00 am, at Sacred Heart Church in Island Park, New York. Contributions may be made in Mike’s honor to Arts Escape in Southbury, Conn. (www.artsescape.org).
Special thanks to his aides Sue and Deena at The Watermark in Southbury, Ct. who loved and took great care of Mike during his last year, as well as his private aide, Eric, and to the dedicated professionals at The Regional Hospice in Danbury, Ct., in particular Mike's hospice nurse David.