Robert Williams

Return to Class of 1956

Robert Williams11/29/2023
Robert (Bob) L. Williams was born on November 19, 1938, in Chariton, IA, the son of Robert R. Williams and Leona (Terrell) Williams.

Bob was raised in Knoxville and graduated from Knoxville High School in 1956. After graduating, he joined the United States Air Force serving in communications, stationed in Japan and later, Sault Ste. Marie, MI. After his service ended he began his employment at Principal Financial Group/Bankers Life in System Development and Planning and retired after 45 years.

Bob lived in Pleasantville, IA for 23 years before moving to West Des Moines. Bob was an active member of the Jaycees, Lions Club, and Order of the Masonic Lodge, and served on the Pleasantville City Council. Bob was an avid Iowa Hawkeye fan and enjoyed walking at the mall daily.

Bob was very actively involved in the Za-Ga-Zig Shrine of Des Moines. He was a member of the Zag Trax unit for many years; then became an honorary member. He was honored to be elected and serve as Potentate in 2004. He then became a member of the Caberi for the past Potentates. In addition, he was invited to serve as a Divan member for many other Potentates before and after his year in that role.

Bob had the joy and pleasure of serving as a mentor to many Shrine brothers. He and his wife, Sue, traveled around the Midwest to attend numerous Shrine Central States conventions. Bob achieved the title of Emeritus of the Shrine by attending ten years of training and attendance at the annual Imperial Shrine Convention.

Over his years as a dedicated Shriner, Bob grew to love the many children aided by the generous donations of others, and he made many trips to Minnesota to the Shriner’s Hospital for Children and assisted in the transportation of local patients.

He was a member of the Quetzalcoatl, the Mexican Shriner’s Hospital for Children, and served as Camaxli (president) for one year. Bob also found joy in his many decades of work as a volunteer member of the Shrine leadership group which organized and ran the Fairgoer golf carts at the Iowa State Fair.

After a courageous nine-year battle with cancer, Bob passed away on November 29, 2023, at Unity Point in Des Moines surrounded by his family, at the age of 85 years.

He was preceded in death by his parents, brother, Terry Williams, and sister, June Herold.

Those left to mourn are his sister, Barbara Feddick; his wife of 31 years, Sue (Means) Williams; daughter, Judy Brisel (Randy); son, Jim (Bobbi); daughter, Janet Kloewer (Bill); grandchildren, Nicole Moser, Dustin Brisel, Emma Umthun, and Zoey Kloewer; step-grandson, Trent Brisel; and great-grandchildren, Kaylee, Jason and Ilyssa Moser, Sammy and Jackson Brisel, Payton Joynes, and Hunter and Kruze Brisel.

He is also survived by sisters-in-law, Diane Suval (Bill) and Deb Jackson (Marshall); brother-in-law, Rick Means (Leslie); and numerous nieces and nephews.Robert Williams

Services will be held on Monday, December 4, 2023, at West Des Moines United Methodist Church, 720 Grand Avenue, in West Des Moines, Iowa 50265. Visitation will begin at 9:30 a.m., with funeral service at 11:00 a.m. A reception will follow.

Cremation will occur after the service. Burial of the urn will take place on Tuesday, December 5, 2023, at 10:00 a.m. at Glendale Masonic Cemetery, 1550 48th Street, Des Moines, Iowa, 50311.

Memorial contributions may be directed to West Des Moines United Methodist Church in loving memory of Bob.