Posted on: May 27, 2021
Dr. Lee Williams, a retired Baltimore surgeon living in Irvington, Va., died on April 26, 2021.
Dr. Williams grew up in Roanoke, Va., the son of Dr. Mortimer Williams and Frances Lee Williams. He attended Woodberry Forest School and the University of Virginia, receiving his medical degree from that institution in 1947. After graduation, he served as an Ensign in the Navy. Later, he served in the Korean War as an Army Captain, receiving a Letter of Commendation from his commanding officer for his care and treatment of the wounded. He subsequently returned to Johns Hopkins Hospital as Chief Resident in Otolaryngology and Head & Neck Surgery.
After completing his residency, he remained at Hopkins in charge of the teaching program for the Department for the next 17 years, subsequently receiving teaching appointments at Hopkins as part time Assistant Professor and later, as Associate Professor Emeritus while serving on the staff of Hopkins for 45 years. During that time, he also served as Chief of Otolaryngology at the Union Memorial and Childrens Hospitals. He helped establish Hopkins Facial Rehabilitation Clinic, providing free services for those in need from five states and contributing his services continuously over a 35-year period. He also worked at the Veteran’s Hospital and the Baltimore Public Health Hospital as a Consultant. Additionally, he served on the Medical Team of the Baltimore Colts for 16 years.
Besides his teaching and care of patients, Dr. Williams had many other interests, including sailing, fishing, hunting, tennis, golf and writing. While at UVA, he was elected to membership in the National Honorary Collegiate Journalism Fraternity, Pi Delta Epsilon. He was the Managing Editor of Corks and Curls, the UVA yearbook. He also wrote articles for various medical journals and a chapter in a textbook. After his retirement, Dr. Williams authored the informational “Sinusitis Help Book,” which explained the disease to the layperson and medical students. At the age of 96, Dr. Williams was still writing medical articles to help those who were suffering.
One of his most satisfying accomplishments, his friends believe, was winning the Yankee Point Yacht Club’s Single-handed Racer of the Year award at age 77, while sailing alone in his 24-foot Raven sloop, Poe Bird. He loved racing with his sons in the Hospice Regattas, as well as in the Nationals at Annapolis. Dr. Williams, after his retirement, remained on the Honorary Staff at Johns Hopkins and was appointed Assoc. Professor Emeritus of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. He was a Diplomate of the American Board of Otolaryngology, a member of the American Academy of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgeons, the American Broncho-Esophageal Assoc., the Society of Medical Consultants to the Armed Forces, the AMA, the Medical Chirurgical Faculty of Maryland, the Baltimore City Medical Society and the Virginia Medical Society.
Dr. Williams also enjoyed memberships in the Sons of the Revolution, the Society of Colonial Wars and the Society of the Cincinnati. While at UVA, he lived on the Lawn and was a member of the Phi Kappa Sigma fraternity, as well as the Eli and IMP Societies. He was a member of Indian Creek Yacht and Country Club, the Elkridge Club, the Green Spring Valley Hunt Club, the Maryland Club and the Hopkins Faculty Club.
He was predeceased by his wife of 48 years, Katherine Ryland Williams; and survived by his sons, David Lee Williams of Carlisle, Pa. and Phillip Lee Williams of Irvington, Va.; his daughters, Jenny Williams Robinson of Lynden, Wash. and Frances Williams Butler of Centennial, Colo.; two stepchildren, Katherine Kimball of West Lebanon, N.H. and Frederick Brune of Bellingham, Wash. He is also survived by 12 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren. Dr. Williams was preceded in death by one of his sons, Dr. Howard Sawyer Williams of Baltimore; and a brother, John McDonald Williams of Irvington. One of Dr. Williams’ greatest pleasures was teaching his children and grandchildren how to fish and sail.
Burial will take place at Historic Christ Church near Irvington at a later time. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Steamboat Era Museum in Irvington, Va.