TBDBITL Alumni Club

The Best Damn Band In The Land - The Ohio State University Marching Band Alumni

Harry Jennings Williams

July 28, 1936 - April 10, 2019

Dr. Harry J. Williams Jr. of Grove City passed away April 10, 2019, with his loving family by his side. He was preceded in death by his parents, Harry Williams Sr. and Florence Starr Williams, parents-in-law Wilbur and Elizabeth Cartwright, sister Florence Starr Schenk, and special cousin Helen Starr Reed. He is survived by his devoted wife of 55 years, Barbara Cartwright Williams, children Cindy Williams and David (Sara) Williams, grandchildren Calvin and Bailey, sister-in-law Beverly Wiley, nieces Margaret (Dick) Hanson, Teresa (Kolin) Atkinson, and Mandi (Jim) Martin, and many relatives and friends.

Family and friends will be received at the Spence-Miller Funeral Home 2697 Columbus Street, Grove City, Ohio on Monday, April 15 from 4 to 7 pm. A Masonic service will follow. The funeral will be held at Grove City United Methodist Church 2684 Columbus Street, Grove City, Ohio on Tuesday, April 16 at 11 am. A graveside service will be held at Union Cemetery in Steubenville, Ohio, on Wednesday, April 17 at 1 pm.

Dr. Williams was a vibrant man who had a passion for travel and music. One of his greatest pleasures was traveling with his family to Myrtle Beach, national parks, historic sites, and all 50 states. He attended the Grove City United Methodist Church for many years and was a tremendous people person, always happy to engage with others and share stories. Harry was a proud native of Steubenville, Ohio, where he was born July 28, 1936, and graduated from Steubenville Big Red High School in 1954. He made many lifelong friends and enjoyed participating in the marching, concert, and dance bands. He was also a member of the All Ohio Boys Band and a delegate at Boys State.

He attended Miami University and Muskingum University before graduating from The Ohio State University with a B.S. in Education in 1958, Kent State University with an M.Ed. in 1965, and The Ohio State University with a Ph.D. in 1971. As an undergraduate in OSU's School of Music, he was a clarinet major and a member of the outstanding concert band led by Dr. Donald McGinnis. He also played the sousaphone in the famed OSU Marching Band, where he had the honor of dotting the "i" in Script Ohio at OSU's 1957 Homecoming game versus Northwestern, the 1957 game versus "The Team Up North" in Ann Arbor, and the January 1, 1958, Rose Bowl.

His honorary associations included membership in Phi Delta Kappa, Phi Mu Alpha, Kappa Kappa Psi, Who's Who in Education, and selection as a Martha Holden Jennings Administrative Leadership Scholar. He was also a member of Steubenville Lodge No. 45, F&AM, The Valley of Columbus, and Aladdin Shrine.

After graduating from OSU, Harry was a member of the Command Band of the Second U.S. Army at Fort Meade, Maryland, when the band served President Eisenhower in welcoming Nikita Khrushchev, Haile Selassie, and Charles de Gaulle to Washington, DC.

After being honorably discharged from the Army, he began a career as an instrumental music teacher in Fredericktown and Parma, Ohio. He advanced to education leadership positions at Cadiz Exempted Village Schools, The Ohio State University, and South-Western City Schools. Upon retirement, Harry continued his musical affiliations by becoming a Woodwind Performance Judge for the Ohio Music Educators' Association and a member of the OSU Marching Band Alumni and the Worthington Civic Band, which enabled him and Barbara to travel to sites in the United States, Europe, and Japan. He was a life member in good standing of the American Federation of Musicians.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in Harry's name may be made to your favorite charity. Online condolences may be left at spencemillerfuneralhome.com

Harry was a member of the marching band from 1955 through 1957. He played sousaphone in K-Row.