Harry Hancock Williams
Harry Hancock Williams, Jr., 90, of Crosswicks died peacefully on March 22, 2018. Born in Allentown, N.J., the son of Harry Hancock Williams and Beatrice Montgomery Johnson, he was a lifelong resident of the area. He was President of williams-BUILDER, a nationally recognized, residential, design/build firm.
He attended the Peddie School and entered Lehigh University in 1946. Shortly after graduation, he built the “House of Tomorrow” on a small lot carved out of an Allentown cornfield, aided by a gift from his grandmother, Mary Ellen Tams. Hundreds visited, none bought, and Harry and Jan, his beloved wife and soon-to-be business partner, moved in with their growing family. Two RCA engineers attending the opening liked the simple functional design and, thus, he built their homes and launched williams-BUILDER, which over 55+ years, built a sterling reputation and many great loyal customers.
The company’s distinctive red sign with “creativity and craftsmanship” lettering marked his custom jobs in Princeton and surrounding areas. Williams’ projects won many design awards and were featured in magazines such as House and Garden and Builder and Architect.
Among his jobs were historic renovations, projects for “doctors, university professors, Wall Streeters,” and employees of firms such as Bristol Meyers Squibb, “as Princeton evolved from a college town to a small city.” He loved the projects for repeat customers, of which there were many, as, according to thank you cards, he was “the only remodeler I would trust with such a project.” Each project was unique, and each infused with his favorite quote, “By the work, one knows the workman.” (La Fontaine)
Harry loved to dance with his wife, especially to Glenn Miller−style orchestras, which he did often at national and regional conferences of the National Association of Home Builders, where for many years, they were featured speakers (perhaps the most daring: “Running a Business: From the Bedroom to the Boardroom”). If there was a historic sign, he would, yet again, stop the car and read it, to the wails of his children in the back seat; if there was a dirt road, he would turn down it. Long wishing to visit England, home of his immigrant father, when he finally walked down a London street, six different people asked him for directions within the hour, perhaps due to his purposeful stride and sartorial choices.
Always a seeker, Harry took his family on canoeing and camping adventures on the Delaware River and in the wilds of the Adirondack Mountains, where, at Blue Mountain Lake, he built “Base Camp,” which became the new family gathering place.
Harry and Jan have been active and supportive members of the Religious Society of Friends, for whom he helped restore the Crosswicks First Day School, among other projects. He deeply loved and identified with Quaker faith and practice, including reflection, nonviolence, and commitment to his community. He was a former board chairman of Mercer Street Friends in Trenton, and served on the Chesterfield Township Zoning Committee and the Historic Preservation Commission for both Chesterfield and Cranbury.
He is survived by his wife of 65 years, Janet (West); his three children, Lee, David and wife Heather, Ann Haden and husband Jamie; his sister Mary Ellen Eastridge, husband Don, and nephew David; and seven grandchildren — Evan, Haddie and husband Matt, Moriah, Noah, Ian, Levi, and Sophia, an architecture major at Princeton University.
A memorial service will be held at The Crosswicks Friends Meeting House, 15 Front Street, at 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 14th, 2018. Donations can be made to the Crosswicks Friends Meeting Building Maintenance Fund (crosswicksfriendsmeeting.org).
Anne Sinclair Williams
Author, news reporter, painter, teacher in the Princeton public schools, and long-time assistant to Father Stanley Yaki, a Catholic priest and philosopher of international renown, died on the evening of Saturday March 3, 2018. Ms. Williams was 95 years old and a long-term resident of the of the Princeton area. Her last years were spent at Morris Hall, Saint Mary’s Assisted Living in Lawrenceville.
Anne grew up in Europe. After the war, Anne’s mother, Margaret Williams, was the first woman to qualify as a licensed psychoanalyst in France. She practiced for many years in Paris and was very well known. Anne assisted her mother as she set up a practice and spent considerable time each year in Europe. Anne and her mother shared a lovely home in Paris and a medieval retreat in the Dordogne. Ms. Williams leaves one niece and two nephews.
In mid-life Anne had an important religious conversion and became a Roman Catholic. Were she here she would request that any donations, in her memory, be made to the donor’s favorite Catholic charity.
A memorial service will be held in the Chapel at Morris Hall, 1 Bishop’s Drive, Lawrenceville, NJ 08648 on Saturday, April 7, 2018 at 10 a.m.