Richard Williams


Richard Edward Williams, 91, passed away peacefully on December 10, 2023 at Mayo Clinic Hospital-St Marys Campus in Rochester, MN. He was born on January 7, 1932 to Cora and Olaf Williams in Decorah, IA. After graduation, he enlisted in the Navy from 1950-1954. Trained in Boot Camp in San Diego, CA, then boarded the Battleship USS Iowa BB-61 and was assigned in the Korean War. His rating was Gunnery “fire control” in the 5” and 40mm Batteries.

On June 1, 1954 Richard was united in marriage to Janet Hovelson. After the Navy he became a Retail Manager for Montgomery Ward Co. which moved them to 5 cities in 6 years. Finally in 1961 they settled in Rochester, MN where he took a job as an Allstate Agent and retired in 1989.

In 1978 they bought a condo on the Gulf in Port Richey, FL which they loved spending time watching dolphins, boats, and walking the beach. After retirement they moved to Florida full time. In February 2007 they bought a condo at Gramercy in Rochester and split their time between the 2 condos in order to be closer to their family. Richard was a member of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church. Richard and Janet enjoyed traveling and in 1977 took a trip to Norway, Denmark, and Sweden. Richard enjoyed woodworking, reading, and spending time and talking about the Navy with his buddies. He was quite the pool player and played in many pool leagues.

Richard is survived by 3 children, Joel (Carol) of Rochester, Jay (Jill) of Owatonna, and Wendy of St. Paul; 5 grandchildren, Melissa (Matt) Richer, Ryan (Holly) Williams, Alec (Kelly) Williams, Kayla (Perry) Choung, and Christopher Williams; 11 great grandchildren; sister, Juanita; brothers-in-law, Richard McCullough and Eric (Mary) Hovelson; along with many other family and friends.

Richard is preceded in death by his parents; wife, Janet; sister, Melba Erickson; brother, Ervin Williams; brother-in-law, Jim (Val) Hovelson; and sister-in-law, Jule McCullough.

We want to extend a special thank you to SMH (MICU and 6 Dom) for their loving care for the past 2 weeks. Also a special thank you to all the kind and caring friends at Gramercy. And also, to Mike and his team at Rochester Cremation Services.

Visitation from 9-10 am at Rochester Cremation Services on Friday, December 15, 2023. Burial will follow at 11am at MN State Veterans Cemetery Preston for Honorary Gun Salute and short service. Lunch will follow at the Gramercy from 12:30-3pm.

Rochester Cremation Services is honored to serve the family. Memories and condolences of Richard may be shared at

2 thoughts on “Richard Williams

  1. Joel,
    I am sorry that you have to go through this sad time. Know that I am praying for you and may God’s peace sustain you


  2. So sorry to hear this. He was such a kind and gentle man.prayers for you at this difficult time

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