Edwin Thayer Williams, 101, a former resident of Plymouth, Mass., Peaks Island, Maine, and South Portland, Maine, died Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2013, in Punta Gorda, Fla.
He was born Friday, Sept. 13, 1912, at Poplar Grove, Prince Edward Island, Canada, and moved to the U.S. about 1916 with his parents, James Arthur and Wilhemina (nee Reilly) Williams.
Mr. Williams is a retired president and chief operating officer of Plymouth Cordage Industries, and was the next-to-last living executive of Plymouth Cordage Company, once the world’s largest rope maker.
Living in Quincy, Mass., he graduated from North Quincy High School in 1931, and from Northeastern University in 1936, with a degree in mechanical engineering. Mr. Williams served in the U.S. Army Air Corps prior to World War II. After a stint with an heating and air-conditioning company in Cambridge, Mass., where he designed a food dehydrator for the Army, he began his career with Plymouth Cordage Company in 1943 as an engineer. He later was promoted to assistant superintendent, superintendent and vice president of manufacturing. He was elected to the board of directors shortly before Plymouth Cordage was sold to American Hardware. Mr. Williams then joined a Cordage subsidiary, Plymouth Cordage Industries, as vice president of manufacturing, and was promoted to executive vice president before becoming president.
On retirement, he and his wife Pearl (nee Thompson) Williams moved to Peaks Island, where they had a summer cottage. Mr. Williams for many years enjoyed gardening and boating while living on the island, before moving to South Portland. After the death of his first wife in 1993, Mr. Williams split his time between Maine and Punta Gorda, before becoming a year-round Florida resident. It was during this time that he married Elizabeth O. Johnson, by whom he is survived. Mr. Williams was a member of the Plymouth, MA, Lodge A.F. & A. M. and the Northeastern University Alumni Association.
In addition to his wife Elizabeth, Mr. Williams is survived by his son, Charles Thayer (DonnaLee [nee Cooper]) Williams; sons, Michael Williams, Eric Williams and Paul Arthur (Linda [nee Wood]) Williams; grandchildren, Elizabeth (Richard) Kates and Seth (Alicia) Williams; and his great-grandchildren, Emma Kates, Jake Williams and Carolyn Williams. He was preceded in death by his sisters, Marjorie Smith and Janet (Clifton) Hart; and his brother, Russell Williams.
There are no funeral services. Burial will be private at Forest City Cemetery in South Portland. Donations in his memory may be made to Tidewell Hospice, Philanthropy Dept., 5955 Rand Blvd., Sarasota, FL 34238, or via www.tidewell.org.
Arrangements were by Kays-Ponger & Uselton Funeral Home in Punta Gorda, and Hobbs Funeral Home in South Portland.