Williams Jr., 64, teacher, devoted father

N. B.

January 03, 1995|By Thomas W. Waldron | Thomas W. Waldron,Sun Staff Writer

N. Bancroft Williams Jr., a retired teacher at Pikesville High School who led a well publicized fight in the 1970s to secure public education for his retarded daughter, died Jan. 1 at Johns Hopkins Hospital of heart failure. The Woodlawn resident was 64.

Colleagues remembered Mr. Williams as an intellectual with a vast knowledge and love of history.

Mr. Williams was born in Baltimore in 1930. After serving in the Air Force, he was graduated from Johns Hopkins University with a history degree in 1955. He later earned a master's degree from Loyola College.

He met his wife, the former Lillian Harwick, in 1955, and they married in 1956.

Mr. Williams began teaching in Baltimore County in 1957, first at Arbutus Junior High School, then at Woodlawn High School.

In the early 1960s, he began teaching history and anthropology at Pikesville High, where he remained for 18 years until medical problems forced him to retire about 1980.

In 1975, Mr. Williams fought to have his retarded 12-year-old daughter, Diane, readmitted to a special education school in Ruxton after officials concluded that the school was not an appropriate setting and recommended an institution.

Mr. Williams pushed his case on television and eventually won when the state Board of Education ordered Baltimore County to provide education, transportation and counseling for Diane.

Mr. Williams' aggressive battle with the county school board, which was his employer, was "exceedingly risky," said Paul Fenchak, a retired Pikesville High teacher.

"If there was anything that summarized the tenets of the Board of Education at that time, it was the word, loyalty."

Mr. Williams ran unsuccessfully for the state House of Delegates in 1966 and his sometimes acerbic letters to the editor appeared from time to time in The Sun, on subjects ranging from civil rights to the ethical lapses of politicians.

He was a a member of the American Legion and the Elks Club in Westminster

Survivors include his wife, Lillian A. Williams of Baltimore; two daughters, Lisa Kuzner and Diane Williams, both of Baltimore; his mother, Marie Williams, and a brother, Paul Williams, both of Rockville; and two grandchildren.

Services are to be held at 10 a.m. tomorrow at Sol Levinson & Bros., 6010 Reisterstown Road,

Memorial donations may be made to Chimes Industries, Suite 226, 1700 Reisterstown Road, Baltimore 21208.

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