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Obituary for Robert "Bob" Rogers Williams
Robert Rogers Williams, 90, died peacefully Sunday, March 7, 2021 in Ridgeland, MS. He was a kind, honest, gentle man who loved God, his country and his family.
Born January 26, 1931 in Jefferson, TX, to the late Robert Leon and Texie Rogers Williams, his lineage traces back to Texas land grant settlers. His grandfather, B.B. Rogers, served as Sheriff of Jefferson. In his high school years, Robert was captain of the Jefferson Bulldogs football team, playing both quarterback as well as defense, and was on the baseball team, too -- all the while graduating as Salutatorian and voted Class Favorite.
The first member of his family to attend college, Bob graduated from The University of Texas in Austin with a B.S. in Geology in 1953. Through the G.I. program, he drilled water wells in France at Dreux AFB as a First Lieutenant in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and courted his hometown sweetheart and future wife, Robin Richey, who was studying music in nearby Paris. They married June 17, 1956, achieving 64 anniversaries, frequently holding hands and telling each other how much they loved each other.
Also in 1956, he began work with Humble Oil (later Exxon) in Grand Isle, LA. Friends joked that he reported to offshore oil well supervision with a briefcase in one hand and his fishing rod in the other. He celebrated all three of their daughters’ births in New Orleans, while he gained the title of Division Exploration Staff Geologist. In 1968 Robert and Robin relocated to Dallas as he became Manager of Texas Offshore Exploration for General American Oil. Through his career he was Chief Geologist with W.R Grace Natural Resources; Vice President of Exploration for May Petroleum, was a founder of Woodbine Petroleum, and then started his consultancy with several clients and was one of the first to gain his Environmental Certification. Being involved in the oil business was a thrill for him, and he was extremely active in the AAPG, SIPES, DGGS, the Houston Geological Society and the Dallas Geological Society, serving as a Vice President of the DGS.
He was skilled in many sports and hobbies but remained humble. He would return from convention tennis tournaments saying he “played alright” but later unpacked silver trophies engraved with his name as the champion. He enjoyed fishing and hunting, having left-handedly shot an award-winning elk in Wyoming (he was right-handed!) in his first hour of the trip while cleaning his glasses, saying good-naturedly, “I had nothing to do with this. He just appeared before me!” Having a trademark chuckle, a twinkle in his eye and a quick smile, he loved a good joke and a long yarn.
Far beyond his career, his wife, daughters, family and his faith in Jesus were most important. He patiently taught hunting, football, driving and map-reading skills to his three girls. A big fan of the all-American road trip, he hit the brakes at almost every road cut or “Hysterical Marker.” He was a loyal friend, a lifetime reader and learner, and had served as a Trustee for Highland Park United Methodist Church in Dallas and was active in the Wesleyan Fellowship Class.
He and Robin moved to Jackson, MS, in 2014 to be close to their eldest daughter Claire’s family, and joined Holy Trinity Anglican Church.
In addition to his parents, he is preceded in death by his younger brother, Jerry L. Williams. He is survived by his wife Robin; his beloved daughters; Claire Williams Aiken (Richard) of Jackson, MS, Alison W. Hogan Vinson (Wade) of Houston, TX and Susan Williams Haas (John) of Austin, TX; grandchildren Robert Aiken (Corey) of Jackson, Elizabeth “Beth” Aiken Hudspeth (Seth) of Jackson; Claire Hogan, Rob Hogan, and Lauren Hogan, all of Austin, TX; Andrew Haas (Eliana) of Long Island City, NY, and Erin Haas and Benjamin Haas, both of Austin, TX, as well as five great grandchildren.
The family gathered for a memorial service in Jefferson, TX on March 13, 2021. In lieu of flowers, the family requests gifts in his honor to be sent to Holy Trinity Anglican Church of 432 Bozeman Rd, Madison, MS 39110.
The family thanks Alice Porter, Victoria Allen as well as thanking the exceptional staff of The Blake at Flowood, Highland Home and The Arbor for the loving care extended to Bob.