Hampton Murray (Bill) Williams, 79, husband of Rose-Marie Eltzroth Williams, died Friday, July 30, 2010, at Sweetgrass Memory Care in Mt. Pleasant, SC. Born March 17, 1931, in Evergreen, Conecuh County, AL, he was the son of the late Mary Elizabeth Yarbrough and Hampton Percy Williams. Bill and Rose-Marie were married at St. Anthony's Catholic Church, Walterboro, SC, August 30, 1957, and were formerly of Abbeville, SC and currently reside in Mt. Pleasant, SC.
In addition to his wife, Bill is survived by two daughters, Shellie Williams and her husband David Todd of Silver Springs, MD, and Angele Robertson and her husband Mike Robertson of Mount Pleasant, SC; and two grandsons, Adam Tanner Croft and Avery Williams Todd. He is also survived by a brother Thomas Wade Williams and his wife Joan of Columbia, SC; a sister-in-law Judith Eltzroth Perryman and her husband John of Troy, MI; a brother-in-law Clyde Alfred Eltzroth, Jr., and his wife Emily of Varnville, SC; and several nieces and nephews.
Bill graduated from Paris High School in 1949 and received a B. A. Degree in English and Journalism in 1954 from Furman University, both in Greenville, SC. He also attended the University of Miami in Miami, FL. He was a member of Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity. He served in the United States Marine Corps during the Korean War (1950-56). Bill retired in 1989 as a Freshwater Fisheries Biologist from the South Carolina Wildlife and Marine Resources Department, now SCDNR.
He was active in the Abbeville Community Theatre for forty years as an officer, actor, and stagehand, best but known for his characterizations of Scrooge (A Christmas Carol) and Randall P. McMurphy (One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest). A lifelong reader, he was the founding president of the Friends of the Abbeville County Libraries in 1988 and served as president for nearly twenty years. He was a member of Main Street United Methodist Church, Abbeville.
While in high school and college he worked in the summers in Alaska on the railroad and in the fish canneries. He boxed in the Lightweight Division of Golden Gloves while at Furman. He was formerly a member of the Sports Car Club of America and raced Formula One cars. He was a member of the National Rifle Association and participated in High-Power Rifle Match Target Shooting. He was formerly a member of the Abbeville Cotillion Club (president in 1970).
He was also formerly a member of the American Fisheries Society and Southeastern Association of Game and Fish Commissioners and presented at their annual meetings his pioneering research on the Striped Bass-White Bass hybrid game fish which was first stocked in the lakes of the Upper Savannah River watershed. He received his training as a fisheries biologist at the US Fish Hatchery in Welaka, FL, and, was Director of the South Carolina State Fish Hatcheries before moving to Abbeville in 1962 to conduct an environmental impact study of the proposed Trotters Shoals-Lake Russell Project. His hobbies included photography and hunting.
Mr. Williams had been tentatively diagnosed with Alzheimers Disease and his body was donated to medical research through the Carroll A. Campbell, Jr., Neuropathology Laboratory at the Medical University of South Carolina. The family requests no flowers but donations may be made in his memory to Respite Care Ministries, 405 King Street, Charleston, SC, 29403.
A Memorial service will be held Monday, August 9, 2010 at 12:00 Noon at Main Street United Methodist Church 300 North Main Street Abbeville, SC. The family will receive friends prior to the service in the Greene Center of Main Street United Methodist Church from 11:00 AM until 11:45 AM.