Pastors' Memoirs

Melville Owens Williams, Jr., 1904-1995

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Melville O. Williams, 91, of Oberlin, Ohio, died March 4 at Allen Memorial Hospital after a short illness.

Born in 1904 in Portsmouth, Virginia, he earned his undergraduate degree in aeronautical engineering from Virginia Polytechnic Institute in 1924, a Master's degree in sociology and religion from Vanderbilt University in 1929, and an Ed.D. from Columbia University in 1935, including work at Union Seminary which led to ordination as a minister in the Methodist Church.

Mr. Williams served as a missionary for the Methodist Church in China from 1929 to 1940 where he taught sociology and was directorof religious activities at Soochow University. From 1946 to 1969, he recruited, selected and counseled over 2,500 missionaries for the Methodist Board of Missions in New York City as secretary of Missionary Personnel. Following retirement he took on special assignments with the Presbyterian Church, traveling with his wife to mission stations in Africa, Asia, Indonesia, Europe, and Central and South America.

Since 1985, he and his wife of 68 years, Annie Lee, had lived in Oberlin and Elyria, returning to Oberlin on January 25, 1995, to Kendal.

He is survived by his wife, Annie Lee Williams, of Oberlin; his son, G. Melville Williams, of Baltimore; his daughter, Ann Craig, of Oberlin; seven grandchildren, Curtiss, Steven, Lucy, and Elizabeth Williams, and Julia, Mary, and David Craig; and one great-granddaughter, Margot.

A memorial service was held Saturday, March 11, at First United Methodist Church in Oberlin with the Rev. Judith Claycomb presiding.

- Ann Craig

 

 

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