Obituary of Rodger Williams
It is with great sadness that the family of Rodger Forrester Williams, DDS, MS, of Ocean Springs, MS announce his passing on August 1, 2018 at the age of 88.
Dr. Williams was born in Chicago on August 22, 1929, to Albert E. and Florence F. Williams. His Illinois education included degrees received from Oak Park, River Forest Township High (1948), Elmhurst College (1952) and Loyola School of Dentistry (1959).
On June 25, 1955, Dr. Williams married Joan Lucy Purfeerst, a nurse and the Love of His Life. Together, they had eight children (5 boys, 3 girls). Dr. Williams exemplary military service during the 1960s included the U.S. Army Dental Corps and duty in Vietnam with the 8th Field Hospital. He then joined the U.S. Office of Veterans Affairs. Dr. Williams began a lengthy affiliation with the Veterans Administration in Milwaukee, WI where he trained and studied to become an Oral Surgeon, receiving a Master’s Degree (1970) from Marquette University School of Dentistry. A distinguished 34-year career with the VA followed, with Dr. Williams ascending from staff, surgeon and faculty member to Chief of Dental Services at VA centers, clinics and schools from Philadelphia and Minneapolis to Jackson, Biloxi and Gulfport, MS, and Pensacola, FL.
Dr. Williams was preceded in death by his parents, Albert and Florence; and two sons, Steven J. and David T. Williams.
Survivors include his beloved wife of 63 years, Joan; six children: Rodger P. Williams, Julie Grace Plasketes, Paul F. Williams, Nancy A. Rewis, Peter A. Williams and Margaret L. Ryan; seventeen grandchildren and seven great grandchildren.
A Mass of Christian Burial in memory of Rodger will be celebrated on Friday, August 10, 2018 at 11:30am at St. Alphonsus Catholic Church, 502 Jackson Avenue, Ocean Springs, MS 39564 with a visitation for family and friends from 10:30 AM until the Mass. The graveside service with military honors will follow at 1:30pm at Biloxi National Cemetery, 400 Veterans Avenue, Biloxi, MS 39531.
Those who so desire may make memorial donations in memory of Rodger to the Area Agency on Aging, 10441 Corporate Drive, Suite One, Gulfport, MS 39503 or online at www.smpdd.com.
RIEMANN FAMILY FUNERAL HOME, 13872 Lemoyne Blvd at Washington Ave, West Jackson County, is serving the family.
An online obituary may be viewed and memories shared at www.riemannfamily.com