Thomas David Williams, known as Tom, passed away at Lilac Homes, Saturday morning November 4th, 2023.
Tom was born on December 11th, 1936 in Manitowoc, Wisconsin, to Anne Kolar and Thomas Malcolm Willams. He was the eldest of three, with two surviving siblings, Judith Tonnell and Robin Williams. Tom’s early years were spent in Manitowoc and he went on to graduate from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, where he met and married his first wife, Karen Patek in 1959, and with whom he had three daughters. He graduated with a doctoral degree in Counseling Psychology from Washington State University in 1968 and shortly thereafter moved to Moorhead, Minnesota where he worked for many years as a counselor and professor at MSUM. He met Diane Wray, at the First Presbyterian Church in Moorhead and they married on May 18th, 1980. Diane also had three daughters, and the combined family was fortunate to spend many happy years enjoying shared interests in music, theater, and art. Family gatherings were memorable for the lively discussions, games, dancing, and songs around the piano. Tom and Diane were active in the First Presbyterian Church of Moorhead where Tom sang and Diane directed the choir. Sadly, Tom’s youngest daughter, Jane “Jenny” Williams, passed away on September 25th, 1983 from leukemia and is remembered also during this time.
In his spare time, Tom was an outdoors enthusiast, tree lover (and climber), fisherman, and poet. He and Diane built a cabin on beautiful Long Lost Lake where he spent quite a lot of time with family and on his own enjoying nature. His passion for the environment led to his involvement with Clean Water Action, River Keepers, and the Long Lost Lake Association. He and Diane enjoyed traveling and visited England, Scotland, Ireland, and Alaska. Tom also traveled to Peru several times where he trekked to Macchu Picchu and other locales, and assisted with a water quality research study.
Tom is survived by his wife Diane Wray-Williams, daughters Elizabeth Bercaw (Scott) and Sarah Haug (James), and stepdaughters Carrie (Andres) Fuentes, Cynthia (Tim) Lowe, and Amanda (Sajid) Ghauri; grandchildren Callie Bercaw, Ethan and Amanda Haug, Danny and Andrew Fuentes, Matt (Katie) Cole, Tyler Lowe, Johnathon Larson, and Jamal, Jasmine, Ruhksana and Sameer Ghauri. He also had seven great-grandchildren.
A memorial service to celebrate Tom’s life will be held on Saturday, November 11th, at 2:00 p.m., with visitation for one hour before the service, at the First Presbyterian Church of Moorhead, 2900 5th St S, Moorhead, MN.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to Minnesota Clean Water Action (cleanwater.salsalabs.org), River Keepers of Fargo-Moorhead (riverkeepers.org), or the First Presbyterian Church of Moorhead.