Harry Hancock Williams Jr.

Williams—Harry Hancock Williams Jr., 90, of Crosswicks, N.J., on March 22, 2018, peacefully. Harry was born on May 30, 1927, in Allentown, N.J., to Beatrice Montgomery Johnson and Harry Hancock Williams Sr. After a short time in the service, he entered Lehigh University in 1946, where he was called “one of the most undistinguished students to attend this institution.” Shortly after graduation, he built what he called “the House of Tomorrow” on a small lot carved out of an Allentown cornfield, aided by a gift from his grandmother Mary Ellen Tams. Many visited, none bought, and he and Janet West Williams, his beloved wife, moved in with their growing family. From this project, he launched Williams-Builder, a nationally recognized residential design-build firm. Over 55 years, he and Jan, who became his business partner, built a stellar reputation with a great many loyal customers. He was the company president. The company’s distinctive red sign with “creativity and craftsmanship” lettering marked his custom jobs in Princeton and surrounding areas. His projects won many design awards and were featured in magazines such as House & Garden and Builder+Architect. Always a seeker, Harry took his family on canoeing and camping adventures on the Delaware River and in the Adirondack Mountains, where, at Blue Mountain Lake, he built Base Camp, which became the new family gathering place. He and Jan were active Quakers, and he restored Crosswicks (N.J.) Meeting’s First-day school facility, among other projects. He also served on the Chesterfield Township Zoning Committee and the Historic Preservation Commission for both Chesterfield and Cranbury.

Harry, who lived his whole life in the Crosswicks area, was survived by his wife of 65 years, Janet West Williams (who has since died, see next milestone); three children, Lee Williams, David Williams (Heather), and Ann Haden (Jamie); seven grandchildren; a sister, Mary Ellen Eastridge (Don); and one nephew. Donations can be made to the Crosswicks Meeting Building Maintenance Fund.

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