BRIDGEWATER — Robert Penn Williams, Jr, of Bridgewater, died of cancer on March 28 at the age of 83. He was born to the late Bessie and Robert Penn Williams on April 19, 1930 in Boston, Mass. Bob grew up along the Neponset River in Dorchester, Mass. where his father had a lumber and millwork business. He graduated from Thayer Academy in Braintree, Mass. in 1949. Bob attended college at the University of New Brunswick and the University of New Hampshire, before serving in the Korean conflict.
Upon his return from the service, Bob and his lovely wife Lolita (Lee) Machon settled permanently in New Hampshire. He went into business with his father, establishing what became RP Williams and Sons, Inc. During his career, Bob built or provided lumber for many of the summer cottages and year round houses for the growing Newfound Lake area.
Outside of work, Bob's life revolved around his family, and many weekends were spent skiing at Ragged Mountain, hiking in the White Mountains, or boating on Newfound Lake. Bob was active in the Bristol Federated Church for many years, where he served on the Finance Committee. Over the years he served the town of Bridgewater as a selectman and as a member of the planning board. During a long retirement, Bob and Lee enjoyed traveling around the country in their RV, and spent winters in the Florida community of Estero. In his later years he devoted himself to improving his woodlots, and caring for his wife as she succumbed to dementia.
Bob is survived by his wife, Lee, and three children: Robert Penn Williams III, of Bristol; Steven Williams, of Bridgewater, and Bruce Williams, of San Francisco, Calif. Four grandchildren: Travis Williams, Kiersten Williams, Alicia Williams and Kyle Williams as well as three great grandchildren. He is also survived by his brother, Burton Williams. In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting that donations be made to the Newfound Area Nursing Association. A memorial service will be held at Bristol United Church of Christ on April 5 at 11 a.m.