Download a free funeral planning guide Click Here
Navigation Menu+
Celebrating the life of
James Reid Williamson, Jr.
February 03, 1935 - September 10, 2017
Services under the direction of:
Fox & Weeks Funeral Directors, Hodgson Chapel
912-352-7200
  • Graveside Service
  • 10:00am - Friday, September 15, 2017
  • Greenwich Section of Bonaventure Cemetery
  • 300 Greenwich Rd. (Map)
    Savannah, Georgia 31404

I am sorry for your loss. Death is painful to all of us. However God's word the Bible always offers encouragement. A scripture I find comforting is Isaiah 25:8. There Jehovah promises to do away with death and all things that bring us pain. That will be very satisfying! I hope this thought has been comforting to you. May positive thoughts fill you hearts and minds as you endure this difficult time.

R. G., savannah, Ga

Reid and Robert, I am so honored to have known your dad. He defined both meanings of the word "character." He embodied strong character and he was a character. I hope to see you both soon.

Dawson Long, Savannah, GA

Reid and Robert What an exceptionally fine person your father was. He had such a profound positive effect on all people with whom he had contact. Your father contributed immeasurably to Savannah's prominence as one of America's most beautiful cities. Not only was he an icon in preservation but also a true gentlemen. The Williamsons and Cays have shared so many memorable experiences over the years. Your father will be greatly missed..

Billings and John Cay, Savannah, Ga

Robert and the entire Williamson family please know that we are thinking of you during this time and keeping your family in our thoughts and prayers!

Dana Eisenberg and family , Bluffton , Sc

Praying for your family during this time of loss. May God grant you His peace that passes all understanding.

Mark and Elizabeth Strock, Highlands Ranch, CO

On behalf of Historic Savannah Foundation, we extend our deepest sympathies to the family and friends of the great Reid Williamson...truly one of a kind. He was a champion of preservation long before it was cool, but he also brought savvy business-sense and an appetite for risk to the game. He helped transform it from parlor conversations to the board room agenda...and he had a whale of at time doing it. His family is part of his legacy, and they hold up his good principles. HSF salutes Reid for a good life and good works...which we will enjoy for decades to come.

Daniel Carey, Savannah, GA

Reid - my deepest sympathy to you and your family on the loss of your father I wish you comfort and peace... Barbara

, ,

Love and peace to you and your family during this time and the days that follow.

Mavis Trice, Macon, ga

I am so sorry for your loss and you and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers as you go through this difficult time.

Susan Brown Barfield, Savannah, GA

May you find comfort in knowing that your dear love one is safe in the memory of God, who will remember every detail about him and bring him back. So sorry for your loss.

The Milner Family, Atlanta, Ga

My deepest condolences.May you and your dear loved ones find comfort in the Bible's promise that one day soon the sting of death will be no more.(Hosea 13:14)

Ursula , Pooler, Ga

J. Reid Williamson, Jr. died on September 10, 2017. He was born in 1935 in Bridgeport, Connecticut to Emma Eunice Harper and J. Reid Williamson, Sr. He graduated from Taft School in Watertown, Connecticut in 1952, where he was the Head Monitor, President of the Student Council and played varsity football, basketball, soccer and tennis (Captain).

He graduated from Yale University in 1956, where he was President of the Student Council, and played basketball, squash (#1 and Captain), soccer, and tennis (Captain). He was a member of Yale’s Drama Club, wrote for Yale’s newspaper, and was the business manager of the Yale literary magazine, yearbook and orchestra. He was a member of the Yale Glee Club, Berzelius Secret Society, and was President of Chi Psi fraternity.

After Yale, Reid served three years active duty as a First Lieutenant in the U.S. Marines Corps stationed at the Marine Corps Air Station, Beaufort, S.C. He also played on the Marine Corps Tennis Team and, as a member of its doubles team, won the U.S. Armed Forces Inter-Service annual tennis tournament twice, and was a runner up in singles. After his discharge, Reid joined the U.S. Air Force Reserves, where he was the Commander of the 117th Tactical Control Squadron of the Georgia Air National Guard on Eisenhower Avenue. He retired from the Reserves after twenty-one years with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.

Reid started his civilian career in Savannah, Georgia with Great Dane Trailers, then was the assistant director of the Savannah District Authority (now known as the Savannah Economic Development Authority). He was the Assistant Director of the Dekalb County Chamber of Commerce, and in 1966, he became the first Executive Director of Historic Savannah Foundation, where he played a vital role in advocating for the protection and preservation of the Historic District against the then-prevailing pro-demolition attitudes held by most of the City’s leaders. He moved to Indianapolis, Indiana in 1974, where for 31 years he was the President of Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana, Inc., the second largest historic preservation organization in the country, after the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Reid also was the Chairman of the National Trust’s Midwest Board and a Trustee on its national Board of Trustees. On the occasion of his 2005 retirement from Historic Landmarks, his close friend throughout his Indianapolis years, Randall Shepard, Chief Justice of the Indiana Supreme Court, summarized succinctly Reid’s contribution to that organization: “In the course of his outstanding career, Reid Williamson nurtured Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana from a sapling to its current position as one of the tallest trees in the preservation forest.”

In 2003, Reid was designated an “Indiana Living Legend.” In 2006, he was awarded the Historic Preservation Medal by the Garden Club of America. Reid’s proudest career recognition was receiving in 2005 the Crowninshield Award, the most prestigious annual award that is given by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Reid is survived by his two sons, J. Reid Williamson, III, his wife Wendy, and Robert G. Williamson, his grandchildren Ruth D. Williamson, Carol L. Williamson, J. Reid Williamson, IV, Cassady R. Williamson, Marguerite A. G. Williamson, and Halsey F. B. Williamson, and by his two (most recent) lady-friends, Josie (“Mama 2”) Coleman and Darcie Little.

A graveside service will be held at 10:00 A.M. on Friday in the Greenwich Section of Bonaventure Cemetery. Reid asked that any desired remembrances of him be sent to Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana, Inc., or to Historic Savannah Foundation.

 

SHARE YOUR CONDOLENCES

  

GUEST BOOK

I am sorry for your loss. Death is painful to all of us. However God's word the Bible always offers encouragement. A scripture I find comforting is Isaiah 25:8. There Jehovah promises to do away with death and all things that bring us pain. That will be very satisfying! I hope this thought has been comforting to you. May positive thoughts fill you hearts and minds as you endure this difficult time.

R. G., savannah, Ga

Reid and Robert, I am so honored to have known your dad. He defined both meanings of the word "character." He embodied strong character and he was a character. I hope to see you both soon.

Dawson Long, Savannah, GA

Reid and Robert What an exceptionally fine person your father was. He had such a profound positive effect on all people with whom he had contact. Your father contributed immeasurably to Savannah's prominence as one of America's most beautiful cities. Not only was he an icon in preservation but also a true gentlemen. The Williamsons and Cays have shared so many memorable experiences over the years. Your father will be greatly missed..

Billings and John Cay, Savannah, Ga

Robert and the entire Williamson family please know that we are thinking of you during this time and keeping your family in our thoughts and prayers!

Dana Eisenberg and family , Bluffton , Sc

Praying for your family during this time of loss. May God grant you His peace that passes all understanding.

Mark and Elizabeth Strock, Highlands Ranch, CO

Candle tribute lit by Sarah Tyson — Georgia

On behalf of Historic Savannah Foundation, we extend our deepest sympathies to the family and friends of the great Reid Williamson...truly one of a kind. He was a champion of preservation long before it was cool, but he also brought savvy business-sense and an appetite for risk to the game. He helped transform it from parlor conversations to the board room agenda...and he had a whale of at time doing it. His family is part of his legacy, and they hold up his good principles. HSF salutes Reid for a good life and good works...which we will enjoy for decades to come.

Daniel Carey, Savannah, GA

Candle tribute lit by Daniel Carey — Georgia

Reid - my deepest sympathy to you and your family on the loss of your father I wish you comfort and peace... Barbara

, ,

Love and peace to you and your family during this time and the days that follow.

Mavis Trice, Macon, ga

I am so sorry for your loss and you and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers as you go through this difficult time.

Susan Brown Barfield, Savannah, GA

May you find comfort in knowing that your dear love one is safe in the memory of God, who will remember every detail about him and bring him back. So sorry for your loss.

The Milner Family, Atlanta, Ga

My deepest condolences.May you and your dear loved ones find comfort in the Bible's promise that one day soon the sting of death will be no more.(Hosea 13:14)

Ursula , Pooler, Ga


© Fox & Weeks