FORT WORTH, Texas (SWBTS) – J. Howard Williams Jr., son of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary’s fourth president, died at his home, April 1, after a battle with cancer. He was 85.

“We greet with sorrow and delight the news of the passing of J. Howard Williams Jr.,” said seminary president Paige Patterson.

“This gracious man has been so much help to me and reminds me much of his illustrious father, former president of Southwestern. How we will miss him. But we know that land to which he has gone and will meet him there soon. God bless his memory and his family.”

Williams’ father, J. Howard Williams Sr., served as president of Southwestern Seminary from 1953-1958. Since that time, the Williams family has continued to support the seminary in prayer and financial gifts.

J. Howard Williams Jr. earned a degree in accounting from the University of Oklahoma and spent his early career as a CPA and comptroller before becoming a managing partner of Rebel Towing Company. Later, he served as general manager of Seabrook Shipyard on Galveston Bay and then as manager of Starboard Yachts before retiring in 1986. His love for sailing led to family adventures all along the Gulf Coast, the Bahamas, and the East Coast.

He is survived by his wife, Ann Williams; his three children, J. H. (Jay) Williams III, Larry Williams and Susan Williams; and by three grandchildren and two great grandchildren. He is also survived by his brother Kelly Dan Williams and his sister Floy Kate Woodruff.

A visitation and viewing with family and friends will be held at First Baptist Church in Georgetown, Texas, at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 5. Funeral services will be held at 3:30 p.m.