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James Peter Williams III ’35

Published in Mar. 26, 2003, issue

Pete, a Philadelphia lawyer who specialized in trusts and estate work for more than 40 years, died Apr. 28, 2001. At Princeton he majored in history and lettered on the 150-lb. football and boxing teams. Pete also served on the Daily Princetonian board and was an assistant manager and editor. He belonged to Ivy Club.

After graduation, Pete's first job was working "in a dirty, hot, coke plant on the Jersey flats." But such servitude didn't last long. Pete's next move was to three "rugged but pleasant" years at Harvard Law, followed by four years in the Navy, mostly in the Pacific "with a lovely side trip around Australia to Ceylon," and a good view of most of the major battles in that theater during WWII. He survived a kamikaze hit on the deck of the carrier Wasp and emerged from the service as a lieutenant commander with a Bronze Star.

He then took a crack at trial law back in Philadelphia, followed by a job as a vice president of the Western Savings Fund Society. He then joined the firm Drinker, Biddle and Reath, where he worked until he retired in 1985. Pete's survivors include Laura Oliver Williams, his wife of 56 years; a son, Peter; a daughter, Anne; two grandchildren; and his sister, Elinor W. Reath.

The Class of 1935

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