Robert Kenneth Williams

Posted: Fri 7:38 AM, Nov 02, 2012
Funeral Home: Nalley-Pickle & Welch Funeral Home
July 9, 1924 - November 1, 2012

Robert Kenneth Williams, 88, died peacefully on November 1, 2012 in Midland. A memorial service is planned for 2 p.m. Saturday, November 3, at The Episcopal Church of the Holy Trinity, 1412 West Illinois.

He was born on July 9, 1924 to L. Pearl and R.E. Williams in Ponca City, Oklahoma and moved with his family to Midland in 1936. He graduated from Midland High School in 1941 as Salutatorian and entered Texas A&M University in the fall of that same year. At A&M he was a member of the Field Artillery unit of the "Fightin' Texas Aggie Band." Ken was inducted into the U.S. Army in the fall of 1943 and was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in July 1944. He served in Ft. Riley, KS and Okinawa, Japan in the final stages of World War II and was honorably discharged in June 1946. He returned to A&M where he was elected to be a member of the Tau Beta Pi engineering honor fraternity and received a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering in May 1947.

He entered the Shell Oil training program and was assigned to the Odessa Division. In 1952, he resigned from Shell and began a 44-year partnership with William H. Martin and Edward H. Judson, forming MWJ Producing Company. MWJ was quite successful in the newly discovered Spraberry field and soon began expanding their operations and mineral ownership into almost all of the producing provinces of the United States. They operated for and participated with many others throughout the oil and gas industry. On November 28, 1952, Ken married Jane (Sapp) and they began a 60-year life together, which included extensive traveling around the world.

He enjoyed playing tennis, golf and sometimes fishing. He was very active in the Episcopal Church of the Holy Trinity, a member of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists and the Society of Petroleum Engineers, and a former President of the Midland A&M Club. He and Jane have a special love for Texas A&M University, where he was a member of the Association of Former Students, the 12th Man Foundation, the Zone Club and the President's Advisory Council. They have generously given several President's Endowed Scholarships, have endowed a Chair in the Ocean Drilling Program, have supported the College of Geosciences in the building of the Radiogenic Isotope Geosciences Laboratory and have helped in the refurbishing of the university President's home and the Memorial Student Center.

He is survived by his wife, Jane Williams; and his daughters, Liza Philpy of Midland and Jenny Clark of Austin. Also surviving are his granddaughters, Sarah Clark of Austin, Mary Jane Dollins and Clay of Austin, and Julianne Reeves and David of San Antonio.

The family would like to give its most heartfelt thanks to Dr. Paul Best, and caretakers Mary Leon, Mary Lou Alcocer, Sara Herrera, Melissa Lopez, and Stephanie Chavarillo and the staff of Senior Care.

Honorary pallbearers are Frank Cahoon, Paul Davis, Jr., Bob Hodge, Joe Liberty, William S. Marshall, James Mims, Mark Philpy, and Tom Wurster.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the charity of one's choice .

Arrangements are under the direction of Nalley-Pickle & Welch Funeral Home & Crematory of Midland. Online condolences can be made at:
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