Mount Pleasant Magazine July/August 2023

99 www. ReadMPM. com | www.MountPl easantMagaz i ne. com | www. ShemCreekRes taurant s . com undergraduate at the University of South Carolina, he studied journalism and edited the student newspaper, The Daily Gamecock. After college, Williams received a commission as an officer in the U.S. Navy and met his wife of 58 years while stationed on the West Coast. But being a Charlestonian, he brought his bride home upon his discharge and landed a job writing for the Charleston News and Courier. Later, after earning a master’s degree in history at USC, he taught at Wando High School for nearly two decades. In retirement, Williams served as president of the St. James Santee Parish Historical Society and was a docent at Hampton Plantation. He authored several books: one on St. James Parish, another a pictorial illustrating Sullivan’s Island’s architecture, and a third, “Rice to Ruin,” chronicling the rise and fall of the Lowcountry’s biggest plantation crop. Williams was also a primary source for many articles that have appeared through the years in local publications, including this one. In 2005, the South Carolina General Assembly honored Williams for devoting his life to teaching as well as to researching and preserving the historical, cultural and environmental character of the East Cooper area. Sullivan’s Island resident Mike Walsh, president of Battery Gadsden Cultural Center, recalled that on the trolley tours, “someone would have to tug on Roy’s pants leg to encourage him to move on to the next house on the tour, since he could’ve talked for hours about each and every house on the island.” His brother, Dr. Michael Williams, confirmed that his sibling “loved the island and the people.” He remembered, too, that “even in grammar and high school, Roy was very studious and was the head of his class. He was always interested in things that older people were interested in. And he was also somewhat of an artist. When we were children, our neighborhood had a small newspaper and Roy would draw pictures to accompany the articles in it. He was a wonderful person and lived a wonderful life.” Soft-spoken and deliberate, mannerly and easy-going, Williams never met a stranger. If you ever had the good fortune to meet him, he undoubtedly gave you a tidbit of history you would have never known otherwise. But in case you never had such luck, a recorded interview with Williams is archived as part of the College of Charleston’s oral history project and can be viewed online at the Lowcountry Digital Library. Fortunately for us all, a little bit of Williams’ vast knowledge is forever captured in print and video. the islands 280 WEST COLEMAN BLVD. MT PLEASANT, SC INTERIORMOTIVESMP@GMAIL.COM 843.936.6997