Former North Carolina Bishop Suffragan Hunt Williams laid to rest

February 13, 2013

[Episcopal News Service] Retired Diocese of North Carolina Bishop Suffragan Huntington Williams, Jr., died Jan. 28.

A requiem Eucharist was held at Christ Church, Charlotte. Williams, 87, was buried at St. Peter’s Church, also in Charlotte.

Williams served as bishop suffragan from 1990-1996.

In the Diocese of North Carolina he served as rector of the parishes of St. Peter’s, Charlotte, 1963-1990; and St. Timothy’s, Winston-Salem, 1956-1963. Prior to his service in North Carolina he was an assistant at Calvary and St. George, New York, 1954-1956, and curate at St. Thomas’ Church, Garrison Forest Owings Mills, Maryland, 1952-1954.

During his ministry in North Carolina he served several terms on the Diocesan Council, the Standing Committee and for many years on the Commission on Constitution and Canons as the chairperson.

A biography on the diocesan website notes that in Charlotte he was known for his public support of desegregation and his commitment to urban ministry; in the parish he was noted for his encouragement of the ministry of all the baptized; in the diocese he was prized for his expertise in the Constitution and Canons of the Church and for his skill as a consultant. In addition to his parish work, he was a founding board member of Planned Parenthood of Greater Charlotte and Hospice of Charlotte, according to an obituary here.

“His gifts of assessment and encouragement were especially well-suited to his work as bishop with the university chaplaincies, the Camp & Conference Center, and the ordination process,” the biography says.

Williams volunteered to serve in World War II after matriculating at Harvard in 1943. He was in the 87th Infantry Division in the Third Army, fought in the Battle of the Bulge and helped to liberate the Nazi concentration camp at Buchenwald, the obituary noted. He was awarded the Bronze Star and Infantry Badge for his service during the war.

Williams returned to Harvard and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1949. He earned a Master of Divinity degree from Virginia Theological Seminary in 1952. He was ordained deacon on Jan. 1, 1953, and priest on June 1, 1953, by then-Maryland Bishop Noble C. Powell. He married Mary Britton in June 1949 and they have four children. He was awarded an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from Virginia Theological Seminary in 1991.

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