Joan J. Joseph Williams

A memorial service for Joan J. “Jan” Joseph Williams, 81, Lawrence, will be at 2 p.m. Wednesday at Plymouth Congregational Church. She donated her body to the Kansas University Medical Center, Department of Anatomy. Private inurnment will occur at a later date in Oak Hill Cemetery.
Mrs. Williams died Monday, Nov. 16, 2009, at Brandon Woods at Alvamar.
She was born July 14, 1928, in Kansas City, Mo., the daughter of Donald B. and Florence Fuqua Joseph.
Mrs. Williams graduated from Whitewater (Kan.) High School in 1945. She graduated with honors from KU in June 1949 with a bachelor’s degree in political science. She earned a master’s degree in social work in 1977, also from KU. While at KU, she was a member of Kappa Alpha Theta social sorority and received recognition from Phi Beta Kappa honorary and Mortar Board.
She worked for several years as a social worker at Bert Nash Community Mental Health Center.
Mrs. Williams was an active community volunteer and a founding member of Douglas County Association of Retarded Citizens, Douglas County Special Olympics and Cottonwood Inc. She was recently recognized with a Lifetime Achievement Award from Cottonwood.
She helped with numerous KU fundraisers and was featured in a promotional brochure for the KU Endowment Association in 1953. She entertained and promoted the KU athletic scholarship fund from its inception in 1948 as the Century Club. It was later named the Williams Educational Fund in honor of Dick, Skipper and Odd Williams.
Mrs. Williams was a member of Plymouth Congregational Church. She was also a member of P.E.O. Sisterhood, Friends of the Theatre at KU, the Opera Guild, a life member of the KU Alumni Association, the Chancellor’s Club and a member of Friends and Counsel.
She married Dick Gossard “Skipper” Williams on June 25, 1948. He died July 3, 1974. She married Robert Simpson on May 7, 1988, in Lawrence. He survives, of the home.
Other survivors include three sons, Lance Joseph Williams and wife Amber Denker, Toluca Lake, Calif., Todd B. Williams, Lawrence, and Sean Williams and wife Stacie Cooper, Lawrence; a stepson, Michael Clair Simpson, Denver; a stepdaughter, Leigh Prescott, Omaha, Neb.; a daughter-in-law, Julie Blue Williams, Hillsborough, N.C.; two brothers, Dr. Howard Joseph, Lawrence, and Dr. Bruce Joseph, Hawaii; a twin sister, Virginia Hilbe and husband Alfred, Schaan, Liechtenstein; and 11 grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by a son, Brett Williams.
The family suggests memorials to a charity of the donor’s choice, sent in care of the Warren-McElwain Mortuary, 120 W. 13th St., Lawrence, KS 66044.
Online condolences may be sent at, subject: Williams.