Geoffrey Anders Williams

Born: July 31, 1938
Died: October 21, 2015

Geoff began at Yale with the class of 1960, but in the fall of 1960 joined our class. In our class book, The Banner, he said he majored in Japanese studies but his obituary in the Cleveland, Ohio, Plain Dealer, suggested a double major in history and English.

He was born in Boston but grew up in Ohio, graduating from Western Reserve Academy. He was a third generation Yalie, the son of Arthur Williams III (Yale 1937) and Anne Kallgren Williams. His grandfather Arthur Williams, Jr., was class of 1910. A resident of Saybrook College he was active on the Saybrook Players as well as the Political Union and the Dramat.

After Yale he joined the Army, learned Czech at the Defense Language Institute and was posted for 2 years to Bavaria. Upon his return he worked for many years as a systems analyst for Allied Communications based in Ohio. His wife Fran predeceased him. He is survived by a sister, Deborah (Mrs. Tom) Brooks, as well as nieces and nephews.

The Plain Dealer obituary mentions that he was “best known for his lively mind and his wry sense of humor, bringing glints of joy to every gathering where he was present.”

He was two years ahead of your scribe John Stewart at Western Reserve Academy. It is both sad and embarrassing that I needed to consult the 1960 yearbook to recall who he was. Even at a small school, a two year age difference creates an almost unbridgeable gap except through shared activities. He wrestled and I was with him in the glee club, a good one, and he played in the orchestra before I got there. The fashion of WRA yearbooks was to attempt a humorous paragraph about each senior. His speaks revealing about his character and interests:

“Upon entering a dimly lit room we hear strange noises coming from one corner … and we see the smiling face of Geoff Williams, photographic genius. He has just seen the product of his genius emerge from a boiling cauldron … It is here, in this very room, that Geoff has produced such epic photographs as ‘The night life of a Reservite in a closet.’ [It was our practice after lights out to repair to our closets for extra homework prep.] To take photographs Geoff will go through anything. One day we found him hanging by his knees from the water tower. He said that he needed to get a monkey’s eye view of the campus.”

Unfortunately, Geoff never submitted any information for our reunion books so little is known of his life. He died on October 21, 2015, in Cleveland. The cause of his death was not disclosed.

John Harger Stewart