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In Passing

In Passing
Thomas B Williams Jr. Print E-mail
By Phillip R Smith   
February 5, 2011

Thomas B. Williams Jr. (1947-2010)

Thomas B. Williams Jr., a former USCF member from Newtown Square, Pennsylvania, died December 19, 2010 in Paoli Hospital in Paoli, Pa. of complications from cancer. He was 63.

Mr. Williams was a noted teacher and poet. He graduated from Marple Newtown High School, received a bachelor's degree from Westchester University, and earned master's degrees in English and theater from Villanova University. He taught English at Marple Newtown High School for 35 years, retiring in 2009. He was the adviser for the high school's yearbook, newspaper, and literary magazine staffs.

He also coached the school's chess team to many impressive victories, including reportedly the 1991 North American Novice Championship where half the school's team consisted of females in a male-dominated tournament. Mr. Williams himself enjoyed online chess but competed over the board in November 1991 in the Chester County Chess Championships in Exton, Pa.

He wrote award-winning haiku, a form of Japanese poetry consisting of non-rhymed verse. His haiku has been read at the Kyoto Peace Museum in Japan and also at a conference in India. About 10 years ago, he won a contest in Japan to have his haiku printed on cans of Ito En green tea. Mr. Williams was also a writer. He wrote the libretto for Heliopause, an opera staged at Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh, He also wrote a play that was staged at Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass. In addition, Mr. Williams was a songwriter. He played the guitar, mandolin and keyboard. Besides chess, he also enjoyed golf and travel. Up until his retirement, he had been an adjunct professor of English at Immaculate University in Pennsylvania for 10 years. He is survived by his wife of 25 years, Margaret Kane Williams.

Obituary submitted by
George Mirijanian, President, Massachusetts Chess Association

Thomas B. Williams Jr.- may you rest in peace.