Dr. Roger Richards Williams
Dr. Roger Richards Williams was on his way to chair a committee for the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva, Switzerland when Swissair Flight 111 crashed off the coast of Nova Scotia.
He was born on August 11, 1944 in Ogden, Utah, to Grace Richards and H. Mifflin Williams.
He loved Ogden and was always asking about past school friends and teachers. He graduated from Ogden High School with a 4.0 in 1962 and received his Bachelor of Science Degree from Weber State (pre-med) with Highest Honors and had previously been named the “Scholar of the Year”.
Roger served a mission in Frankfurt, Germany for two and a half years where he was Assistant to the Mission President, returning in 1966.
He married Linda Lavon Gygi in the Salt Lake City Temple August 12, 1968. In 1967, he pursued his studies at the University of Utah Medical School, where in his Junior Year he was elected to AOA Honorary Society. Upon graduating top of his class, he received three of five independent awards, which he was told was the first time that had happened since the school was organized. Roger completed his internship and residency in Internal Medicine at Duke University Medical Center in North Carolina, and completed his military service at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, as a Lieutenant Commander in the Navy for three years.
Roger returned to the University of Utah Medical Center as an Associate Professor in internal medicine in 1976. He was able to combine his love of medicine and genetics as he originated the Cardiovascular Clinic at U of U Med Center.
He was medical director for Mutual Benefit Ass. (MBA): served as chair-man of many committees for NIH including chairman of the Epidemiology and disease control study section; was a member of the Veterans Administration Vietnam Era Twin Registry Advisory Committee; served as chairman of the Utah Diabetes Control Coordinating Council; Chairman of the Epidemiology Working Group for NHLBI; clinical application and Prevention Advisory Committee: and Chairman of the University Hospital Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee for eighteen years.
As a Professor, he lectured at the “U” Medical School and went on rounds with the students at U of U and LDS Hospitals.
Roger has diligently worked on mapping out the human genome and identifying heart attacks before they happened through researching genes and tracing familial pre-disposition.
He chartered a program entitled “MED-PED” (Make Early Diagnoses-Prevent Early Deaths). To date more than thirty countries have joined in his program, working together in sharing information internationally to prevent early heart attacks and strokes-He had flown over 2 million miles to thirty-countries to speak at their Medical Conventions by invitation. Roger has published more than two hundred articles in Medical Journals and has been quoted several times in the Readers Digest.
His zeal in service for the LDS Church was unbounded, serving as a Bishop of the SL Butler 30th Ward, H.P. Group Leader, Gospel Doctrine Teacher, Ward and Stake Genealogy consultant, and Seminary Teacher. He was currently serving as Stake Young Men’s President, and member of the Wasatch Stake High Council, Ward Organist, and a Home Teacher. He served in many other capacities during his lifetime. Roger never tired of researching and submitting names, performing Temple Ordinances, and teaching others to follow suit.
He loved music, singing in choirs, playing drum and clarinet in marching bands in Jr. High, H.S. and Weber State. His mother started teaching him piano when he was four years old, and he was an accomplished organist and pianist. Yes, he played “”Autumn Leaves” very well.
– He is survived by his wife and sweetheart of thirty years, Linda Levon Gygi and their seven children, whom he loved so much, (which he often referred to as his “most important accomplishment and responsibility”), Michelle Lynn (Stephan) Relitz, Thomas Richards (Christine) Williams, Rebecca Louise (Gabriel) Lither, Kristin Emily (Hank) Lindsley, Peter Brett, Kathryn Lanae. and Parley Albert Williams: parents, Grace Richards and H. Mifflin, Jr., Williams, Jr., Ogden; mother-in-law, Lida Pecker Gygi: sister-in-law, Louise Gygi (George) Young, brothers-in-law, Jerry, Roger, Dennis Gygi; four beautiful grandchildren, Samuel Stephen and Sarah Claire Relitz, Joseph Richards and Thomas Roger Williams.
All those who came in contact with Rogers will dearly miss his diligence in work, his zeal in righteousness, and his endless capacity for love and understanding.
Roger was brilliant, dynamic, enthusiastic, selfless, and above all. a faithful servant of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Memorial services will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, September 12, 1998 at the SL Wasatch Stake Center. 8170 S. Short Hills Drive (3425 E.) Salt Lake City, Utah. Family, friends, colleagues may call at the Stake Center at 9:30 a.m. to meet the family prior to the Memorial Service. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be sent to the “Utah University Roger R. Williams Memorial Fund’, 410 Chipeta Way, Room 167, Salt Lake City. Utah.
Dr. Roger Richards Williams