Colonel Arvin Samuel Williams, retired USAF, passed away April 10, 2013 at the age of 92. Col Williams dedicated over 30 years of his life to Randolph-Macon Academy's students, serving as a teacher and coach and in other administrative roles from 1947-1968 and as the Academy's president from 1969-1978.
Col Williams was born and raised in Wise County in southwestern Virginia. He graduated in 1942 from Milligan College, in Tennessee, with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Chemistry and Mathematics. While at Milligan, he played fullback and was co-captain of the football team. Upon graduation, he began teaching Biology and Chemistry and coached varsity football and basketball at Norton High School. In August of 1942, he enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps Reserve and was called to active duty in March 1943. Upon receiving his Pilot's Wings in 1944, he piloted B-17 and B-29 bombers during World War II. During his time in the military, he served throughout the U.S. and Europe, and eventually achieved the rank of Colonel in the USAF Reserves. He served as the liaison officer for the United States Air Force Academy for Virginia and West Virginia, and he also participated in two active duty tours at the Academy in Colorado Springs, CO.
Col Williams returned to education in 1947 as a mathematics teacher at Randolph-Macon Academy, where he also coached varsity football and swimming. In 1955, he was named Athletic Director and added varsity wrestling to his coaching resume. Col Williams studied at Johns Hopkins University and the University of Maryland, obtaining his Master of Arts Degree in Education from George Washington University in 1967. After working his way through the administrative ranks at R-MA, Col Williams was named president of the school in 1969, and he held this position until 1978.
Upon leaving R-MA, Col Williams eventually decided he was not quite ready for retirement and went to work with AGT Communications Group, working with computer graphics for the Shenandoah Press. At age 79, he finally decided it was time to start taking it a bit easier. Having been widowed for some time, he relocated to Richmond, Virginia, to be closer to his family.
Col Williams was preceded in death by his wife, Emma Mauck Williams; parents, Irvin P. and Cleo B. Williams; four brothers and a sister. He is survived by his daughter, Lucy W. Hooper and her husband, Gary; grandson, John Randolph; and a sister, Ruth W. Claus.
The family will receive friends Sunday, April 14, 2013 from 1 to 4 p.m. at Bliley's-Central, 3801 August Ave., Richmond, Va. 23230. Funeral services will be held Tuesday, April 16, 2013 at 11 a.m. in Boggs Chapel at Randolph-Macon Academy in Front Royal, VA. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Emma and Arvin Williams Scholarship Fund at Randolph-Macon Academy, 200 Academy Drive, Front Royal, VA 22630.