Williams—Janet Frances West Williams, 91, of Crosswicks, N.J., on March 3, 2020, peacefully, at home. Jan was born on January 28, 1929, in Trenton, N.J., to Edith Frances and Roscoe Lambert West. Roscoe was president of Trenton State College, and Jan attended Trenton High School and spent her life in the area. Sometimes called “Westie,” she graduated from Colby–Sawyer College (then Colby Junior College) in 1948, learning to live with others and understand new ideas, and then she earned a bachelor’s in history, government, and economics from Colby College in Maine. After college, she worked as a children’s librarian in Trenton.
Jan was vice president of Williams-Builder, in partnership with her husband, Harry H. Williams Jr., who was president. Together they built a nationally recognized design-build firm. Jan was named National Remodeler of the Year (1997) by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), served as chair of the NAHB Council, and was director of both the New Jersey and Central New Jersey Builders Associations. She was featured in several publications and appeared on the covers of Professional Remodeler and Builder+Architect. “Fifty years ago, a woman in the construction business was an anomaly. I enjoyed being a pioneer!” she said.
Jan cofounded two dormant libraries and served as president, treasurer, and trustee of Crosswicks Library. She was president of the PTA, and most importantly to her, clerk and trustee of Crosswicks (N.J.) Meeting. She was a vital part of meeting for many decades, appreciated for her generous and open-minded spirit, her candid opinions, her hearty laugh, and her kind insistence on singing grace and sending postcards.
Crosswicks Friends sorely miss her presence and ready smile. She never seemed old and retained the glamour of a spirited Trenton girl. Jan’s husband, Harry Hancock Williams, died in 2018 (see previous milestone). She is survived by her three children, Lee Williams, David Williams (Heather), and Ann Haden (Jamie); seven grandchildren; a sister-in-law, Mary Ellen Eastridge (Don); several nieces and nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews, and cousins; and many dear friends. Donations can be made to Crosswicks Meeting (PO Box 456, Crosswicks, NJ 08515) or the Crosswicks Library Company (PO Box 147, Crosswicks, NJ 08515).