Robert "Grant" Williams, 71, passed away peacefully, Wednesday evening at his home, after a courageous one year battle with pancreatic cancer.
Grant was born May 19, 1950, in Youngstown, OH, a son of the late William and Mary "Delores" Wahl Williams.
Raised in Struthers, Grant was a graduate of Struthers High School, Class of 1968. He enlisted in the United States Navy and proudly served as a signalman on the guided missile destroyer, the USS Lawrence, stationed in Norfolk, VA. In September of 1970, Grant was honorably discharged and returned home to Struthers.
While attending his best friend's wedding, Grant met his future wife, the best friend of the bride, Carla Schrader, and they were married May 19, 1973 and made their home in Struthers until moving to Boardman in 1979.
Grant worked as a service inspector in the metallurgical department of the Youngstown Sheet & Tube until its closing in 1979. He went on to receive his two-year welding certificate at Commercial Shearing while taking business classes at Youngstown State University.
Grant's father, William H. (Bill) Williams, working with Hazen Becker and later Dan Becker, was a long-time manager, funeral director and embalmer for Davidson-Becker Funeral Home. In 1986, it was only natural, that Grant followed in his father's footsteps by working part-time with Dan Becker at Gold Cross Ambulance and Livery. His position at Gold Cross developed into Assistant Manager, and later, was promoted to General Manager of Gold Cross Livery, Western Reserve Cremation, and Angel's Rest Pet Cremation Service. In 2015, Grant retired after 29 years of loyal and dedicated service.
Grant was a proud alumni of Struthers High School and served every five years, with his friends, on the reunion planning committee. A YSU season ticket holder for both basketball and football games, Grant, Carla and Bridget in their motor home, tailgated all games including, away games, and championship games. Grant and Carla, with their group of friends, provided food and hospitality to all who came through the tailgate party. Grant was a member of the Penguin Club and an original member and supporter of the Ice Castle Scholarship Fun. Grant was an active and longtime committeeman of the annual St. Patrick's Day Parade celebration and received the Ockerman award on March 16, 2003. While Bridget was in school, Grant was an active volunteer and advocate for the Special Needs programs at Boardman Schools including the former Challenger Baseball League, as well as Easter Seals, and always volunteered his time as a parent chaperone for his daughter Bridget's field trips and outings.
Grant was a life-member of the AMVETS Post #44 in Struthers and member of the Tuesday Suburban Bowling League at Wedgewood Bowling Lanes. Grant enjoyed traveling cross country in the family motor home, especially to the East and West coast and camping at Indian Creek at Geneva-on-the-Lake.
A loving husband and wonderful father, Carla and Bridget were the center of Grant's life, and the three of them together were inseparable.
Grant leaves his wife of 48 years, Carla Schrader of Boardman; daughter, Bridget Ann Williams at home; two brothers, Matt Williams of Kauai, HI, and Harry (Sandy) Williams of Tucson, AZ; nephew, Robert Williams; niece, Cheryl Williams; many special in-laws on Carla's side, including nieces and nephews who were very special to Grant in their own unique way; as well as all of Grant and Carla's very special friends, who have been their support team, especially during this past year. Grant was proud to be an American, and was very proud of his nephew, USMC Donnie Schrader, Command Master Chief of All Forces Pacific.
Carla and Bridget would like to express their sincere appreciation to Dr. Santuccio Ricciardi and the medical team that cared for Grant, as well as the neighbors for their support.
Friends will be received Tuesday from 2:00 p.m. until 4:45 p.m. at the Davis-Becker Funeral Home in Boardman followed by a funeral service honoring Grant's life, at 5:00 p.m. with Deacon Paul Lisko officiating. Interment will follow at a later date at the Lowellville Cemetery.
In memory of Grant, contributions may be made to Ice Castle Scholarship Fun, c/o Youngstown Foundation, 655 One University Plaza, Youngstown, OH 44502, Easter Seals, 299 Edwards St., Youngstown, OH 44502 or to the AMVETS Post #44, 305 Elm Street, Struthers, OH 44471.