Walter (Walt) Williams died gracefully, surrounded by his family at his home in Wooster, Ohio on Friday Sept. 21, 2012. Born Walter White Williams in Utica, New York on May 17th, 1934, Walt was the fourth of seven children born to Mary (Ann Cooper White) and Norman Williams. In 1952, following his graduation from high school at the Utica Free Academy, Walt joined the Marine Corps. A year later, on October 31, 1953, he married his high school sweetheart, Nancy Lee (Nugent) and she joined him at the Quantico Marine Corps base in Virginia. After his service in the Marine Corps, Walt s meteoric business career began humbly when he was hired by the General Electric Company to load box cars for the radio division in Utica. At his wife s urging, Walt pursued his business degree at night at the Utica College of Syracuse University. Family lore has it that because of his growing young family Walt had to study in his car. He graduated Magna Cum Laude in 1961. Walt went on to a legendary career in the business world, accepting GE executive assignments which moved the family around the country. He rose through the ranks of the Fortune 100 Company, running divisions like GEISCO where he was known as an astute mentor. In 1986, GE CEO Jack Welch called him back to the headquarters to become Executive Senior Vice President of Marketing for the entire company. In 1988, the Rubbermaid Corporation recruited Walt to become President and COO and In 1993, Walt was named as Rubbermaid s CEO. Throughout his illustrious career, Walt never forgot his simpler beginnings. In each of the communities where he lived, Walt was known for his affable wit and his extraordinary generosity. He is survived by his adored wife Nancy, their four dear children; Bill (Tricia), David (Ann Wimsatt), Karen and Lauri Sanders. Affectionately known as Big Walt , he is survived by ten loving grandchildren: Alexandra Kalamaras, Sawyer Williams, Danielle Kalamaras, Jacob Sanders, Winston Williams, Walker Williams, Blake Williams, Lily Sanders, Devon Williams and Walter Sanders. Big Walt was also deeply fond of his step-grandson Jason Kalamaras (Trish) and their children; Hailey and Kyle Kalamaras. Walt is survived by his two brothers, Norman and John as well as a sister-in-law, Terralyn Square and many nieces and nephews. According to Walt s wishes, final memorials will be private McIntire, Bradham & Sleek Funeral Home, 216 E. Larwill St., Wooster is assisting the family. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that those who wish to remember Walt do so with charitable donations to Utica College or Wayne County Hospice.
Hospice and Palliative care of Greater Wayne County or to Utica College
Private services will be held
No calling hours