Robert Cornelius Williams was born on October 13, 1948 to the late Robert Wilson and Irene Williams in Manhattan, New York. At a young age, he accepted Christ as his Lord and Savior.
He received his early childhood education in the Birmingham Public School System and was a graduate in the Class of 1966 from the historical A. H. Parker High School. Also, he was a proud and active member of his graduating class Alumni Association where he served as the Sergeant at Arms.
After high school, he matriculated to Lawson State Community College formerly known as Wenonah State Technical Institute (WSTI). This was the origin of the technical training Robert would use later in his future endeavors.
The Selective Service System for the military also known as the draft lottery, selected and drafted Robert during the Vietnam Era. His prior studies at WSTI prepared him for his military career goals and led him to select as his Military Occupational Specialty, Field Radio Repairman. Throughout his 19-month tour of active duty, he held the well-defined responsibility of his fellow soldier’s day-to-day operations. After his active duty tour, he became a part-time soldier with the Alabama National Guard. For more than 23 years, he served with honor and distinction while elevating his military career to the “field grade military officer rank of Major” before retiring his uniformed service.
Moreover, before he retired after 32 years of dedicated service from Corporate America in 2004, he was simultaneously performing as a supervisor for South Central Bell and AT&T. The Bell Corporation was one of the top-ranking Fortune 1000 Companies in Birmingham, Alabama and also one of the seven original Regional Bell Operating Companies.
On August 27, 1971, he united in Holy Matrimony with the love of his life, Betty Jean Kimbrough, who became his best friend for life. For more than 45 years she was his loving and devoted right-hand in marriage, parenthood, and many more of their ultimate lifetime dreams.
While he spent the vast majority of his life, supporting and loving his wife and son, he received his greatest joy at the birth of his granddaughters, Carson Michaelle and Caitlyn McKenzie. He never missed any of their social activities, whether it was a dance competition or performance, gymnastics competition, school programs, or just simply traveling for family vacations. Anyone who knew Robert knew how proud he was of his son and granddaughters. They were his favorite topic of conversation outside of his Corvettes.
Robert was quite exceptional, innovative and enthusiastically determined. As an enthusiast of the Corvette, he also wanted to start a Corvette Club. He never gave up and consequently, he became a founding member of the International Council of Corvette Clubs (ICCC). He served as a long time Parliamentarian and Membership Committee Chairman. Additionally, he was a proud ICCC King of the Hill Drag Race Champion, a member of the Classic Corvette Club and a past member of the Smoke City Corvette Club. During his involvement, he impacted many lives and made lots of friends.
The Williams and extended families have lost an amazing father, a loving and dedicated grandfather, a remarkable brother, and an outstanding friend. On Tuesday, September 22, 2020 at 8:06 a.m. at the University of Alabama at Birmingham Hospital, Robert departed this earthly life for eternal life with his Lord and Savior. His presence will be sorely missed.
Robert’s legacy of love and strong family values will continue in the lives of those he leaves to cherish his memory: a devoted son, Michael (Erica) Williams of Atlanta, GA; granddaughters, Carson Michaelle and Caitlyn McKenzie, both of Atlanta, GA; sisters, Frances Jones and Belinda Jackson of Birmingham, AL; cousins, Myrtle Jones of Birmingham, AL and Shelia Thompson of North Carolina; very dear and special friends, Richard and Jacqueline Y. Wiggins, Lillie Davis, Eugene and Katie Hollins, Stanford Watkins, Boyce Greenard and a host of family and friends.