Thursday, October 30, 2008

One Year Gone and a Request

On October 30, 2007, John McLarty Williams, Jr., CEO of eFolder Inc., husband to Laura Buckner Williams, and Father to Mac and Susanna Williams, died of Creutzfeldt - Jakob disease at age 57. Dad's unexpected death left us missing his dynamic, caring, gregarious, and adventuresome presence.

My Dad was an adventurer; he loved to travel the world and took advantage of every opportunity that came his way. And yet, his love of globetrotting always took second-place to his lifelong endeavor to help others; and whether with his hands, or by “lending” someone money, he felt his greatest joy when he was in the service of his fellow men.

My Dad lived his life the best he could, and tried to help out other people along the way. He was a team builder; he loved to involve others in what he was doing. Granted, he did love being in charge, or helping out at the higher echelons of power, but, my Dad’s purpose in life was to serve other people. After Hurricane Katrina, he would work far beyond the capacity that his body could handle, and would pay for that sacrifice physically with painfully swollen feet and ankles. As an employer of people, he took his responsibility to other people’s families very seriously, oftentimes foregoing paying himself so that he could meet payroll. He hired people that others wouldn’t even have interviewed, and trained them in new careers, changing their lives along the way. He liked helping people help themselves. He was a fisher of men.

On this, the anniversary of his death, my family is pleased to announce that the administration of Coker College has accepted our proposal to create an endowed scholarship in my dad's honor for Foreign Language majors and minors at Coker College to study abroad; The John McLarty Williams Jr. Endowed Scholarship. In order to have a permanent endowed scholarship we need a corpus of $10,000. Those monies, once capitalized, will generate around 5% per annum to be used to help Coker's foreign language majors complete their required semester abroad studies. I don't have the resources to fund it myself, so I'm asking anyone whose life my dad made better to donate, please.

The scholarship is to be awarded to a full-time student who is a rising junior or rising sophomore with a major or minor in foreign language. The scholarship should be used for study abroad in the foreign language and is intended to help Coker students experience the world outside the friendly confines of the Pee Dee region of South Carolina.. In honor of my dad's commitment to service, students are encouraged to include service learning as part of their foreign language study.

We recognize that right now is not the most fortuitous time in which to solicit charitable contributions, but we ask that you make the sacrifice that you can. Your donation will be tax-deductible, will fund a permanent endowment in Johnny Mac's name, and will help change the lives of students who might not be able to afford study abroad otherwise. If the economy prevents you from donating at the moment, please remember us when things get better for you and your family.

If you can afford to give, please do, generously.

Make checks payable to Coker College, and mail them to:

The John McLarty Williams Jr. Endowed Scholarship Fund
c/o Frank Bush
Coker College
300 E. College Ave.
Hartsville, SC 29550

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