The Reverend Richard C. Williams

The Reverend Richard C. Williams


Let us remember with thanksgiving the life and ministry of Rev. Richard “Dick” Clayton Williams, 90, of Boulder, CO who died on Tuesday, March 1, 2022. He was born March 31, 1931 in Colorado Springs, CO.

Dick graduated from Harvard Divinity School with a Master of Sacred Theology, from New School of Social Research with a master's degree in sociology and from University of Colorado with a PhD in mathematical sociology.

He came to the New York Conference in 1959 and was appointed to Trinity UMC (City Island) in the Bronx; Naugatuck UMC in CT; and Massapequa UMC on Long Island. In 1971 Dick began serving in extension ministry, first as the executive director of Educational Program on Drugs in Herricks, NY, then as a faculty member in Behavior Science at NY Institute of Technology, and finally as the director of research at Boulder Memorial Hospital in Boulder, CO. Dick retired in 1994.

Dick also built a second career in social research, the study of chronic pain and as a part-time professor at Iliff School of Theology and Regis University. He is the author of several technical books and a memoir. Into retirement, Dick continued his active participation in the Boulder Mennonite Church and many peace and justice projects, including the Ecumenical Project for International Cooperation. He was most proud of his lifetime membership in the Jesus Seminar.

He enjoyed composing and performing music on the keyboard and was an accomplished French horn player. His composition "Hanukah Festival" was debuted by the Colorado Springs Philharmonic. Other vocal compositions were performed by the MFA chorus at the University of North Dakota. Dick liked to read math and physics books for pleasure and loved a good mystery novel. A polyglot and world traveler, he picked up languages easily and enjoyed making puns and jokes.

Dick was preceded in death by his wife, Gretchen Briegleb Timmerman Williams; his parents, Oliver Morton Williams and Myrtle Wheeler Williams; and five siblings. He is survived by his children, Richard C. Williams (Pam) and Donna Williams (Steve); a stepson, Alex Timmermans (Lynne); two grandchildren, Spencer and Julia; and many cousins, including Barbara Spriggs (Woody) of Broomfield, CO, Carol Kokesh and Rae Ritchen.

Memorials have been established with Community Peacemaker Teams (formerly Christian Peacemaker Teams) and Boulder Mennonite Church. Donations are requested in lieu of flowers or gifts.

A Celebration of Life ceremony took place on Saturday, March 5, 2022 at Boulder Mennonite Church.