Donald LeRoy Williams was born on December 6, 1925, in Davenport, Iowa. He was the son of Samuel John Williams and Edna Rohwetter Williams.1
Williams married Margery Turner in River Forest, Illinois, on July 3, 1948. He was a student at Parsons College in Fairfield, Iowa, studying political science at the time of his marriage.2 Margery died on April 23, 2005, in Naples, Florida.3
Williams registered for the draft on December 13, 1943, in Davenport, Iowa.4 He was a student at Davenport High School at the time of his registration. He later graduated. Williams enlisted in the U.S. Army on March 27, 1944, at Camp Dodge in Herrold, Iowa.5 His basic training was at Camp Van Doren, Mississippi. He served in Europe with the 3rd Infantry Division, going overseas on December 16, 1944.
The 3rd Infantry Division was the only U.S. unit that served in all ten campaigns of the war, participated in four amphibious landings, and suffered the most casualties of any U.S. unit in the European Theater. The 3rd Infantry Division, for 531 consecutive days, saw combat in North Africa, Sicily, Italy, France, Germany, and Austria.6
Williams was awarded the Purple Heart and Bronze Star for his service during World War II.7 He was wounded in action February 19, 1945, in France. He received treatment for chest injuries.8 He was returned to the States in spring 1945 for further treatment at Winter General Hospital in Topeka, Kansas.9 Private Williams was honorably discharged from the U.S. Army on September 14, 1945.10
After leaving the service, Williams graduated from Parsons College. He was also awarded two master’s degrees in history from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. Williams was a Vice-President of Contract Sales for Sears Roebuck and Company for thirty years before retiring.11
He was an avid golfer volunteering for the Florida Golf Association rating courses and officiating. Williams also served on the Resident’s Board of Bear’s Paw Country Club as president and treasurer.12
Donald LeRoy Williams died on March 30, 2006, in Naples, Florida. He was survived by his three daughters, Elizabeth (Bernhard) Bassemir, Gail Williams, and Karen Williams; and his cousin, Kenny (Nancy) Williams.13