James Stewart Williams, 87, of Bedford, New Hampshire passed away on October 23rd, after a sudden illness. Born in Carbondale, Pennsylvania to the Reverend Burton and Mrs. Eileen Williams, James was the oldest of three sons. He was predeceased by a brother, Robert Douglas Williams, of Elmira, New York and is survived by Albert Cameron Williams of Cambridgeshire, England. Like many other young men of his great generation James entered the United States Marine Corps at age 17, serving in World War II, in the Fourth Marine Division in the South Pacific. He saw three theatres of war: Taipan, Sinian and Iwo Jima, earning the Purple Heart, the Bronze Star and two Presidential Citations. In his later years, he proudly wore an Iwo Jima Survivor hat. Once honorably discharged, he began his career at Moore Business Forms in Elmira, New York. Starting as a printing press helper, he worked his way up through every rank of the company, the world's largest business form manufacturer at the time. At 42 years old he became the company's youngest plant manager and went on to act as trouble shooter in several states along the eastern seaboard. He was responsible for the opening of the plant on Brown Avenue in Manchester New Hampshire in 1968. After more than 40 years with Moore he retired in 1988.
He enjoyed a long and healthy retirement, celebrating 65 years of marriage in April to his wife Genevieve Ann Brenzo of Elmira, NY. His interests were extensive, including traveling throughout the United States, Europe and the Caribbean, and trying every good Italian restaurant anyone recommended. He was always focused on athletics, an interest that no doubt came from his father's position as Director of Philadelphia's YMCA. In high school he lettered in track. Later, he played baseball. He rarely missed his grandchildren's basketball, baseball and soccer games and track meets, always cheering them on and advising them like a loving coach. He was an excellent swimmer and diver and even tried cliff diving in Hawaii. He was an avid golfer and a longtime member of the Manchester Country Club, his favorite location for celebrating family birthdays and anniversaries. Up until one month before his passing he exercised at a local gym 6 days a week. His work-out regime was an inspiration to men half his age. Family members find some comfort that his physical fitness curtailed what might otherwise have been a protracted illness.
His family was the love of his life. He is survived by his wife Genevieve and 7 children: Ms.Sharon Williams of Bedford; Barbara Hall and husband Peter of Hooksett; Janet Mustico and husband Robert of Elmira; Kathleen Fortin and husband Daniel of Bedford; Carol Pelissier and husband William of Manchester; Gena Heidenreich and husband Scott of Goffstown; and, one son, James Stewart Williams II and his wife Susan (Hansberry) of Bedford. The day preceding his death, he was visited by every family member, totaling 25, including his 3 granddaughters, 6 grandsons and one 20-month-old great-grandson. A second great-grandson is expected any day. Among his admirable traits that will be missed are his quick wit, rational decision making, reserved manner, steadfast presence and strict devotion to his Roman Catholic faith. James and Genevieve have been communicants of St Elizabeth Seton Church since moving to Bedford in 1968. To the end, James was strong and fearless and, in his death as he did throughout his life, he took the final challenge in stride.
Calling hours were held Sunday afternoon from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. at McHugh Funeral Home, 283 Hanover Street, corner of Beech St., Manchester. A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated Monday at 10:00 a.m. at Saint Elizabeth Seton Church, 190 Meetinghouse Rd.,Bedford. Burial with military honors followed in St. Joseph Cemetery.Memorial donations may be made to YMCA of Greater Manchester, 30 Mechanic Street, Manchester NH 03101.