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Richard Williams

Richard Thomas Williams

Saturday, December 28th, 1935 - Monday, April 13th, 2020
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Obituary

It is with heavy hearts for the family to announce the peaceful passing of Richard Thomas Williams, 84, on Monday, April 13, 2020 in Lewes.

Richie was born in Wilmington, Delaware to the late Albert Williams and Hattie Dzielakowski Williams. Throughout his life, he was a star athlete in football, baseball, softball, and basketball. He attended St. Elizabeth Elementary School and graduated from Salesianum High School in 1955. After serving in the United States Marine Corps, Richie married his beloved Anita Zappaterrini, a relationship that lasted 54 years until her death in 2013. Additionally, he is predeceased by his daughter Ann, and his brother Donald.

Richie is survived by his son, Anthony Williams of Dagsboro; and daughters, Michele Williams of Lewes and Teresa Barrett of Wilmington; grandchildren, Michael and Christopher Williams of Saluda, North Carolina, William Barrett III of Claymont; sisters, Patty Bourdon, Lorraine Petit, and Judy Williams Solge (Joe); sisters-in-law, Barbara Williams, Maryann Zappaterrini, and Kathleen Zappaterrini Milligan (Jack); brother-in-law, David Zappaterrini (Florence); one great grandchild; and several cousins, nieces, and nephews. Throughout the years, he remained close friends with his first-grade classmates, getting together for monthly lunches.

After a varied career as a master craftsman, construction, and steeplejack, Richie retired in 1995 as a “Miss Utility” technician from Delmarva Power & Light, after 33 years of service. There he was active on the company’s softball, basketball, and bowling teams. He played shuffleboard and softball at Pulaski Legion, and was a member of Hall-Burke VFW Post 5447 and The Wacky Club. He enjoyed many a wild summer in Sussex County and was happy to live out his last five months in Lewes.

Richie was a quiet, contemplative man of few words but was a king of the one liner humorous zingers. He was a jack of all trades, there was nothing he couldn’t fix. He loved his summertime vegetable garden, his azaleas, and springtime bulbs, but also enjoyed watching sports and horror suspense shows on television. He had a huge heart, was a devoted father, and loved his kids above all else. He overcame many of life’s challenges, including a workplace accident in 1970 that burned over 30% of his body, and the sudden death of his wife and his youngest daughter. He stressed and focused on hard work for success, the necessity of education, and demonstrated accountability, integrity, and honesty. Above all, he was a servant leader and provided anything he could to those he cared for and loved.

Due to the COVID-19 virus, a private burial will be held at Cathedral Cemetery. A Celebration of Life party will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, the family kindly requests that memorial gifts be made to Delaware Hospice, 100 Patriots Way, Milford, DE 19963.
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theodore filliben

Posted at 12:13pm
Dear Michele, I was so sorry to hear about your Dad's passing. The last time that I saw him was at my Mom's funeral. He looked well and I greatly appreciated him coming to express his sympathy. I still remember being at your Mom and Dad's wedding. They were certainly a handsome couple. Even though your Dad was quiet, he had a great sense of humor. May he always be with you in spirit. Love, Francine
MW

Michele Williams

Posted at 11:02am
Dad, I know you are so happy to be in heaven with Mom, Ann, your parents and relatives, and all your hang out with buddies. You are now able to play all sports all at once, because in heaven there are no "seasons", just love and peace. I miss you, Love Michele
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