Harrison V. Williams Jr., 86, passed away January 8, 2019 after a short illness. Born in Schenectady, New York on August 11, 1932, he was a resident of Syracuse and Fayetteville, New York since 1942.
He was a graduate of the Manlius School in 1950 and received a scholarship to attend the Rossall School in Fleetwood, England, where he studied English literature and English history. He graduated from Rossall in 1951. Thereafter he graduated from St. Lawrence University in 1955.
At St. Lawrence University he was active in student affairs. He was President of Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity, Vice President of the student government, President of the Student Union and was elected to membership in the Omicron Delta Kappa National Honor Society.
Mr. Williams was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the United States Army upon his graduation from St. Lawrence and served on active duty. For many years he was active in the Army Reserves and retired as a Captain from the 403rd Civil Affairs Company headquartered at Electronics Parkway in Syracuse, NY.
In 1959 he graduated from the Syracuse University College of Law and was admitted to the Bar. Harry began his legal career at the law firm of Coulter, Fraser, Carr, Ames and Bolton and practiced there until 1972. For several years he maintained an office in the Monroe Building and then, in 1983, formed the law firm of Williams and Drexler, located at 407 South Warren Street, Syracuse, NY. In 1992, he formed the Williams Law Firm, PC before joining the firm of Green & Seifter, Attorneys, PLLC in 2001, which later became Bousquet-Holstein at Lincoln Center in Syracuse, NY.
He was active in commercial litigation and real estate for many years. He represented Aenta Casualty Co. and Norstar Bank, which merged into the Bank of America and participated as an attorney and partner in the Highland Green Condominium development in the Radisson planned community. As an attorney he provided many pro bono services, including giving seminars to and advising the Citizens Review Board of the City of Syracuse. He was an expert on the many phases of bicycle injury litigations and gave many seminars to attorneys and lay groups on the subject. He was a member of the AARP Legal Services Network and the AARP Litigation Foundation.
He was a member of the Onondaga County Bar Association, the New York State Bar Association, and the New York State Trial Lawyers Association, of which he was a charter member. He was admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court. For several years he served on the Board of Directors of the Onondaga County Bar Association and was Chairman of the Grievance Committee. He served as Town Justice of the Town of Manlius and the Village Justice of the Village of Fayetteville for many years.
Mr. Williams was an active tennis player, swimmer and bicyclist. He played regularly at Eastside Tennis Club (formerly Limestone Tennis Club) in Manlius, NY, Drumlins Tennis Club in Syracuse, NY, and participated in many biking trips in Europe, Vietnam, Cambodia and the United States. He was for many years active in teaching literacy and was President of The Learning Place, a leading literacy organization in Syracuse, NY.
Harry enjoyed a full active life and a distinguished law career until his retirement in August 2018. He leaves behind a legion of loyal friends at Bousquet-Holstein and in the community at large.
He is survived by his wife, Mary C. Williams; son, Mark V. Williams of Syracuse; daughter, Sarah Steinman of Cumberland Center, Maine; and two grandchildren, Theo Steinman and Jessalyn Steinman of Cumberland Center, Maine; and his former wife, Marlene Williams. His brother, Craig W. Williams, predeceased him. He is also survived by step-children, Maureen O’Sullivan of San Mateo, California and Peter O’Sullivan of San Francisco, California.
Funeral ceremonies are private. A memorial/celebration of Harry’s life will be held in the Spring.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Honor Flight Syracuse, Inc., P.O. Box 591, Syracuse, NY 13209-0591 or Newland Center for Literacy, 1443 East Genesee Street, Syracuse, NY 13210.