Peter N. Williams, Ph.D.
July 6, 1934 - September 3, 2013
Peter N. Williams, Ph.D., of Newark, DE, passed away on Tuesday, September 3, 2013.
Peter was born in Flintshire, North Wales in 1934. He was educated at King’s School, Chester, England, where he won a scholarship to Swansea University, Wales. At Swansea he completed an Honours degree in History.
After arriving in the United States in l957, Peter was drafted into the US Army and served in Germany. Field exercises led to his having extensive surgery for hearing loss. Later he worked as a teacher at John Bassett Moore High School, Brandywine High School, and Concord High School. He completed his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees at the University of Delaware. Peter taught English at the University and was Chairman of the English Department at Delaware Technical and Community College for 15 years. Recently, he tutored at the University’s English Language Institute.
He was a popular lecturer both in the US, in his native Wales, and in Ireland. Dr. Williams was the leading writer on British history at Britannia.com for several years. In 1977, he founded the Welsh Society of Delaware, holding the position of president for all but two years. It was through Peter’s efforts that the state of Delaware officially recognized March 1st as Saint David’s Day. In 1990, he was honored by the St. David’s Society of Philadelphia as Welshman of the Year.
Dr. Williams was a director of The National Welsh American Foundation, and the editor/writer of The Eagle and the Dragon. He was an accomplished conductor of Welsh hymn-singing festivals. Peter was honored for his work on behalf of Wales and Welsh Americans by being elected to the Gorsedd of Bards.
He wrote several articles on industry in Wales and Pennsylvania for Cambria, the Welsh magazine. He wrote numerous books about Wales and the Welsh in America, including From Wales to the Lehigh: the David Thomas Story and an autobiography Whistling In The Soup.
He had an avid love of both soccer and tennis and played tennis every week and was a dedicated follower of the Liverpool Soccer club. He performed in amateur theatrical productions and he sang at many of Delaware’s restaurants and pubs.
Dr. Williams is survived by his beloved wife, Lynda Schnurr-Williams; sisters, Joan Thomas and Betty Geary; nieces, Yvonne Handford and Tina Street; and nephew, Philip Catherwood.
A memorial service will be held at 11 am on Saturday, September 21, 2013, at the St. Thomas Episcopal Church, 276 S. College Avenue at Park Place, Newark, DE, where visitation will begin at 10 am. A committal service will be held at 11 am on Monday, September 23, 2013, at the Delaware Veterans Memorial Cemetery, 2465 Chesapeake City Road, Bear, DE.
In lieu of flower, contributions may be made to The Delaware Welsh Society (contact Sian Frick at [email protected]), The Cholangiocarcinoma Foundation (www.cholangiocarcinoma), or the Wilmington VA Medical Center (www.wilmington.va.gov).