November 27, 2012

Don Ray Williams

The Express-Star

— Don Ray Williams

Funeral service for Don Ray Williams, age 75 of Cyril, will be held Monday, Nov. 19, 2012, at 10:30 a.m. in the Cyril High School Auditorium.

Don was born on Sept. 22, 1937, in Cyril,  where he attended twelve years of public school and graduated from Cyril High School in 1955. He graduated from Abilene Christian University with a B.S. degree in 1959 and an M.S. degree in 1974. He worked full-time with the Northwest Church in Oklahoma City (1960-63), West Berry Church in Ft. Worth (1963-65) and Broadway Church in Lubbock (1965-71). Don was the second full-time youth minister in Churches of Christ in 1965. He began the Youth Ministers’ Seminar in 1967. He worked full-time with Pepperdine University in Malibu, California, for 21 years (1971-92) and Abilene Christian University in Abilene, Texas, for 10 years (1992-2002). He was a university teacher for 23 of the years.

Don has spoken on the campuses of thirteen colleges and universities. For many of the California residence years he would not only teach but average flying almost 100,000 miles per year to speak on the weekends in twenty different states. His speaking has taken him to all but two of our United States. He has spoken to youth rallies, singles seminars, high school assemblies, leadership conferences, administration workshops and commencements. He was a featured speaker for the Texas State Future Homemakers Convention, the University of Southern California Leadership Conference and the University of California-Santa Barbara Leadership Conference.

He was honored as "Youth Minister of the Year" in October 1969, by Lubbock Christian University. He was honored with the 1969 Lubbock Future Homemakers of America Award for inspirational service to the organization. He received the 1971 Lubbock Classroom Teachers Association "Friend Of Education" Award which is given to the person who, though not engaged in public school education, contributes the most to educational goals and ideals.

Don was selected as one of the outstanding teachers at Pepperdine University in 1981, chosen by the Student Government Association. He was made an honorary member of the Golden Key National Honor Society in 1991 and was presented the Christian Service Award by Pepperdine University in 1991. He was honored with a Distinguished Christian Service Award from Harding University in 2005 and was honored by Abilene Christian University in 2005 as one of the 100 alumni who had done the most to change the world.

Don retired for residence in Cyril,  in 2002.

He was preceded in death by his parents, R. B. and Brownie Mae Williams.

Survivors include brother and wife: Robert and Kathy Williams of Sherwood, Ark.; nephew: David Williams of Sherwood, Ark.; and niece: Sherri Hullett of Sherwood, Ark.

Interment will be in the Celestial Gardens Cemetery. Service will be under the direction of the McRay Funeral Home.