Donald J. (Donnie) Willliams, age 79, a longtime Taylor resident, passed away Thursday at Geisinger Community Medical Center in Scranton. He is survived by his beloved wife, Ann Marie (Kucharski). The couple were married on August 31, 1968.
Born in Pittston on March 17, 1943 and raised in Old Forge, Donnie was the son of the late Donald and Mildred (McGrath) Williams. After graduating from Old Forge High School in 1960, he proudly served in the U.S. Air Force during the Vietnam Conflict, where he attained rank of Airman 1st Class prior to his honorable discharge on May 20, 1966. He graduated from the Pennsylvania State Police Academy in Hershey in 1967, where he was elected Class President, and then served as a Pennsylvania State Trooper, assisting thousands of travelers on nearby Interstate Highways.
He was also a proud life-member of the American Legion for 57 years.
Donnie lived for his family, and he was especially kind and loving toward the children in his life. He was an engaged and attentive father, cheering on his son, Don, in all of his endeavors. He went to nearly all of Don’s sporting events, even to his high school golf matches, where he was often the only person watching. He was a little league baseball coach, and a constant support and presence for nephews, nieces, grandchildren, and even the kids of his neighborhood. He loved traveling with Ann Marie to Austin, Texas, and on family vacations. In recent times, the loves of his life were his two granddaughters.
He is also survived by his adoring son, Dr. Donald Williams and his wife, Dr. Lisa Doggett, of Austin, Texas; two granddaughters, Ella and Clara Williams; two brothers, John (Jack) Williams of Old Forge and Michael Williams of Malvern; and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by twin infants, Michael and Michelle Williams; siblings, Francis Williams, Kathleen Lane and Jean Marie Kurtinitis; and two nephews, Mark Lane and Bobby Williams.
His family wishes to acknowledge and thank the entire staff of Geisinger C.M.C.’s Palliative Care Center for their kindness and compassion throughout Donnie’s illness, particularly his longtime physician, Dr. Linda Thomas, her head nurse, Kari Machelli, and his hospital physician, Dr. Kristina Tanovic.
A funeral Mass is scheduled for Wednesday at 11:00 AM at St. Ann’s Basilica, 1233 Street Ann Street, West Scranton, to be celebrated by Rev. Siby Padinjaredath. Military honors by the AMVETS Honor Guard will follow. Family and friends may pay their respects on Wednesday at the church between 10 – 11:00 PM.
Those wishing to attend services are asked to go directly to the church.
Several people important in Donnie’s life have had multiple sclerosis, and in lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Donnie’s name to the National MS Society c/o P.O. Box 91891, Washington, D.C. 20090-1891.
Arrangements are under the care of the Thomas P. Kearney Funeral Home, Inc., 517 North Main Street, Old Forge.