Richard Williams

Kirkersville - Richard Lucas Williams, son of Mac D. and Kathryn L. (Lucas) Williams, was born Sept. 4,

1934, in Kirkersville, Ohio. He passed away peacefully on Nov. 8, 2021, at the age of 87 at the

Pannill Health Care Center at Sunnyside Retirement Community in Harrisonburg, Virginia.

Mr. Williams was a graduate of Athens High School (1952) and Ohio University (1956), both in

Athens, Ohio. He was the cadet colonel of his ROTC program and upon graduation received a

regular commission in the U.S. Army. In Newark, Ohio in 1958, he married the love of his life,

Donna DeVoe.

He was a decorated U.S. Army Infantry officer, Senior Parachutist, Senior Army Aviator and

Comptroller. He flew both fixed wing aircraft and helicopters and served in Korea and Vietnam.

From 1973 through 1975, Mr. Williams was assigned to the Executive Office of the President to

work with Federal Drug Management in the Office of Management and Budget. He was then

assigned to work with the House and Senate Budget Committees.

He retired from military service in 1977 as a Lieutenant Colonel with 21 years of service. After his

retirement from the Army, he was appointed by the President to the White House Office of Drug

Abuse Policy and served as a Senior Advisor to the President under Presidents Carter, Reagan, and

Bush Sr. He retired from the Civil Service in 1989, but continued to serve as a consultant to the

White House Office of Policy Development and the Council of Economic Advisers for another four


Mr. Williams was active in his community and church. Before coming to Harrisonburg, he was a

member of Washington Farm United Methodist Church in Alexandria, Virginia. He taught Sunday

School classes and led Bible studies for over 40 years.

In 2008, Mr. Williams moved to Sunnyside Retirement Community in Harrisonburg, Virginia and

joined First Presbyterian Church. Shortly after that, an accident left him paralyzed from the chest

down. Even confined to a wheelchair in the nursing care facility, he cheerfully continued to serve

the Lord and his community. He was part of the resident council for Sunnyside's Health Care center

and enjoyed teaching residents about computer technology, meeting with "The Buzzards," a group of

fellow former pilots, and assisting with nurses' training classes as they learned how to care for

quadriplegic patients. He was grateful to the staff at Sunnyside for their years of excellent nursing

care and their company. He was also grateful for the exemplary care of Dr. John A. Witman.

Mr. Williams is survived by his wife of 63 years, Donna (DeVoe) Williams of Harrisonburg; his

daughter and son-in-law, Kathryn and Jeff Peters of Haymarket; his granddaughter, Elizabeth Peters

of Charlottesville; his sister, Cheryl Williams of The Plains, Ohio; his brother, Jon (Liz) Williams of

Baton Rouge, Louisiana; his brother-in-law, Frank (Sue) DeVoe of Heath, Ohio, and several nieces

and nephews and their children. He was predeceased by his parents and by a brother, Larry Joe


There will be a memorial service at the Meredith Chapel at Sunnyside on Friday, Nov. 19, 2021,

at 2 p.m., with interment to follow at a later date. For those unable to attend, the service will be

flowers, donations may be made to the Sunnyside Communities Fellowship Fund, 600 University

Blvd., Suite L, Harrisonburg, VA 22801 or to a church or charity of the donor's choice.

Condolences may be shared at Richard Williams

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