Armistead M. Williams, MD

Class Year




Posted on: November 19, 2018

Armistead Marshall Williams, MD, fondly known as “Sam,” died peacefully in his sleep on October 25, 2018. He was born in Richmond, Va., on July 23, 1926, the third son of Carrington Williams and Fanny Braxton Miller.

Armistead graduated from St. Christopher’s School in 1944 as class valedictorian. He played left end on the Saints’ undefeated city and state champion football team, and served as captain of the city and state prep baseball champions. While at St. Christopher’s, he was a member of the Virginia Reserve Militia, a cavalry home guard organized and led by Captain James C. Wheat, Sr. Upon graduation, he enlisted in the Army Air Corps.

Armistead entered the University of Virginia (’48) as pre-med, and joined the fraternity of Delta Psi (St. Anthony Hall). He played on the football squads of coaches Frank Murray and Art Guepp, was a member of the interfraternity council and was elected to Eli Banana and the Thomas Jefferson Eating Society (The “Z” society). He graduated from The University in 1948, and was elected to O.D.K. On the GI Bill, Armistead entered UVA Medical School (’52). He served as student president of the Medical School and as a member of the Honor Committee.

As a result of the first “matching plan” in 1952, Dr. Williams obtained a Halsted surgical internship at Johns Hopkins Hospital. He completed a surgical residency at the Medical College of Virginia in 1958. He was a diplomate of the American Board of Surgery, a fellow of the American College of Surgeons (FACS), an Associate Professor of Clinical Surgery at the Medical College of Virginia and attending surgeon at the McGuire VA Hospital. Dr. Williams was in private practice of surgery in Richmond with his father, Dr. Carrington Williams Sr. and brother, Dr. Carrington Williams Jr., for 32 years. They often had lunch together at the nearby home of his parents, and were frequently admonished by Mrs. Williams for the three surgeons talking about “livers and gizzards” while eating lunch.

Just prior to retiring from surgical practice, he completed Mason and Friends, aided by daughter, Sarah R. Williams. The book is a collection of letters written by brother, Mason M. Williams and his friends during WWII.

Medical and surgical affiliations included the Richmond Academy of Medicine, the Medical Society of Virginia, the Richmond Surgical Society (past president), the Humera Surgical Society (past president), the Virginia Surgical Society, The Eastern Surgical Society (past president), and the Southern Surgical Association (a past vice president). He was a member of St. James’s Episcopal Church (past vestryman), St. Martin’s-in-the-Field, Biddeford Pool, Maine and a past vestryman of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. He was a member of The Society of the Cincinnati, the Richmond German and Kiwanis Club of Richmond. He was a member of the Pilgrims and the Mulligans golf groups, The Country Club of Virginia (past member of the board), and the Abenakee Club in Biddeford Pool, Maine.

He cherished Griswold-like family vacations, especially time spent in Maine with family and friends. He was especially proud of his wife, Nancy who is so talented in many ways, and of their three daughters, all of whom graduated from the University of Virginia. WAHOOWA!

He is survived by his wife of 57 years, Nancy Sjostrom Williams; their three daughters, Maria W. Swindell (Terry), Sarah Randolph Williams, Carter W. Foster (Clifford); and five grandchildren, Nancy Parran Swindell, Taylor Armistead Swindell, Mason Williams Swindell, John Clifford Foster V and Armistead Greer Foster. He was predeceased by his parents; and two older brothers, Carrington Williams Jr., M.D. and Lt. Mason Miller Williams, who was killed in action piloting a B-17 over Munich, Germany in 1944. He was also predeceased by his adoring dogs, Rip I and II, Berry, Dennis, Charlie, Ajax, Aspen, Polar, Bullet, Henry, Hank and Ziggy. Naming his dogs after friends and heroes was a one of his true joys.

Memorial contributions may be made to St. Christopher’s School and St. Martin’s-in-the-Field, Biddeford Pool, Maine.