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Jacksonville University mourns loss of former trustee Pat Williams, 92

Former JU Trustee Pat Williams (1921-2013)

The Jacksonville University community is mourning the loss of Patrick M. “Pat” Williams, a businessman and philanthropist who supported JU for more than three decades, including 10 years as a Board of Trustees member. Mr. Williams died Thursday, Oct. 10, of pancreatic cancer; he was 92.

A U.S. Army veteran and Davidson (N.C.) College three-sport athlete, Mr. Williams moved to Jacksonville in 1947 to work for his family’s business, Moore Dry Kiln Co. Mr. Williams’ relationship with JU began when Davidson played the Dolphin basketball team in Jacksonville. He helped start JU’s “Century Club,” which sought donations of $100 or more to the JU Athletic Department, and is a JU Athletics Hall of Fame inductee.

Mr. Williams served as a JU trustee from 1996 to 2006, providing leadership as chairman of the Buildings and Grounds Committee, while also serving on the Athletics and Executive committees. The Edna Sproull William Foundation – the family’s charitable organization – provided funding for the upgrade and renovation of JU’s Williams Hall (named for Williams’ uncle, Charles Williams) and has enabled dozens of financially challenged students to continue their JU studies through the Williams Scholars program.

“We are all deeply saddened to learn of Pat’s passing,” said JU President Tim Cost. “The Jacksonville University family will always remember Pat’s kindness and will be forever indebted to him for his generous support of JU athletics and academics, and for championing JU in the community through his business and personal associations.

“Pat has been instrumental in the University’s achievements, including the success of many of our graduates whom he helped on their way to success.”

Mr. Williams worked for Moore Dry Kiln for 25 years, owned other Jacksonville companies, including Breidert Air Products, and served on the boards of many business and organizations. He also leaves behind a golfing legacy of shooting eight holes in one and scoring his age or better hundreds of times.

Mr. Williams was preceded in death by his wife of 60 years, Dorothy Skinner Williams. He is survived by his four children: Rev. Ann W. Brinson (Bob) of High Point, N.C., Molly Williams, of Ponte Vedra Beach, Pat Williams III (Liz) of Orange Park, and Susan W. Brodeur (Rick) of Jacksonville. He has seven grandchildren: Buck (fiancee’ Susannah Baker) and Ellie Williams, Will (AK) and Charlie Brinson, and Ford, Patrick and Bryant Brodeur. He is survived by his two brothers in law Dick Skinner and Bryant Skinner.

A memorial service was held Thursday, Oct. 17. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in Mr. Williams’ memory to First Presbyterian’s Pastor’s Discretionary Fund.

Click here to read Mr. Williams’ Florida Times-Union obituary and sign the guestbook.

Click here to read a Thursday, Oct. 17, Times-Union tribute to Mr. Williams.