Roy Henry Williams, 81, of San Tan Valley, Arizona passed away November 28, 2017 quietly at home, with his daughter Julie caring for him. He is preceded in death by his parents Frank and Rebecca Williams of Pensacola, Florida, and his sister Laura and James Church of Bonita Springs, Florida. Roy is survived by his wife Nancy Truitt Williams, his three children Julie Williams and Thomas Mullikin, Trudy Walgrove and Roy Williams Jr and his wife Wendy Williams and his five grandchildren Sean Walgrove, Rebekah Mullikin, Abigail Mullikin, Rachel Mullikin, and Liliana Artman.
Roy was born and raised in Pensacola, Florida. As a child, he enjoyed boating on Pensacola Bay with his best friend Jasper. In 1957, he met his wife Nancy in Oakridge, Tennessee while attending the University of Tennessee in Knoxville; working as a co-op student. In May of 1958 Roy and Nancy eloped by greyhound bus and got married in Georgia. They were married for nearly 60 years.
Relocating to Manhattan Beach, California; Roy began work with North American Aviation, as an engineer and was involved in many historical aviation projects including the X-15, and XB- 70 experimental aircraft. His involvement with NAA led to his employment with IBM at the Johnson Space Center Houston, Texas from 1964-1970. Roy manned the IBM console at the (RTCC) Real Time Computer Complex and was instrumental in helping Apollo 11; dodge the west crater, as they landed on the moon. He also worked on the inception of the Space Shuttle Program at the Kennedy Space Center Merritt Island, Florida from 1974-1976. He was employed with IBM for nearly thirty years with five additional years at Lockheed Martin. In 1984, Roy earned Master Degrees in Computer Science and Mathematics from SUNY Binghamton.
An avid sports fan, he volunteered as a coach for Little League and Youth Football.
From 1988 until retirement Roy and Nancy ran a landscape business in Gaithersburg, Maryland called Garden Scapes. They also had Garden Scapes East in Accident, MD and Garden Scapes West in Tucson, Arizona. Landscaping was a shared passion; after moving to Arizona, they worked extensively with the Tucson Cactus and Succulent Society and Desert Legume Program of Tucson.
Grandpa spent many summers in Western, Maryland enjoying his grandkids by taking them camping, fishing and grilling out. Nancy’s father; Jack Truitt, taught Roy how to fly fish, he always spoke fondly of his time spent with Jack on the lake in Tennessee.
Roy had melanoma for many years, in the last couple of years, it had become more serious and spread to his lungs.
Grandpa was loved by all and had a special love for Coco the Cat! We will all miss him.