Beloved pediatrician remembered for his dedication

Published 5:33 pm Tuesday, March 5, 2024

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Dr. Duane Jaqua Williams, a beloved pediatrician in Greenville, passed away on Friday, Mar. 1, after a lengthy illness. He was 82 years old.

Born in Birmingham on Dec. 6, 1941, Williams graduated from Louisiana State University (LSU) medical school before enlisting in the United States Air Force as a surgeon, serving as a Captain during the Vietnam War. 

Upon returning from the war, he completed a residency in pediatrics and dedicated over 50 years of his life to caring for children.

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“He was probably one of the finest people I’ve ever met in my life. If everyone in Greenville was like him, we wouldn’t even need police officers,” said Greenville Mayor Dexter McLendon. “We were truly blessed to have him all these years. He made Greenville a better place.”

Anne Keen, a pediatric nurse practitioner with Greenville Pediatrics, expressed her admiration for Williams.

“Dr. Williams was an inspiration to me from the time I came to Greenville,” Keen said. “He was so helpful to me and kind to everyone that he encountered. He was a fine Christian, a wonderful example to all, and a great pediatrician who loved taking care of children.”

Williams was also known for his love of hunting and fishing, as well as crafting his own longbows. His kindness and compassion touched many lives in the community, earning him a reputation as a mentor and guiding light.

“He was a great man, very loved by the community and he will certainly be greatly missed,” said David Norell, director of business development for Regional Medical Center.

Williams is survived by his beloved wife of 29 years, Edith Ryan Williams, his son Mark Williams (Sandy), his daughters Kelly Abry (Glenn) and Shannon Garrison (Greg), stepchildren Michael Waite and Caroline Waite, and grandchildren Elise Garrison, Julia Garrison, Hunter Abry, Rhiannon Abry, and Cameron Waite, as well as a multitude of cousins and relatives from Alabama to California.

His legacy of kindness, compassion, and dedication to his community will forever be remembered Williams’ impact on Greenville and the lives he touched will not be forgotten.