Horace Glenn Williams Jr died January 11th, 2022, at the age of 82.
He was born in Memphis, Tennessee on August 8, 1939, the son of H Glenn and Hallie Mae Williams. The grandson of farmers, Glenn spent much of his youth hunting, fishing, and exploring the woods of Obion County.
As Glenn grew older his interests turned to scholarly pursuits. After college and service in the U.S. Navy he did graduate work in English Literature at the University of Tennessee and UNC-Greensboro. A short stint teaching at UNC-Chapel Hill gave him a deep love of Tar Heel basketball and a deep ambivalence toward academia.
Searching for another way to make a difference, he joined the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences as an editor and eventually moved to Washington D.C where he became a career civil servant with the Environmental Protection Agency.
In Washington, his long-time interest in art grew into a passion. He would haunt galleries and began collecting. He discovered wildlife artist Charley Harper when he saw a series of posters commissioned by the National Park Service. Glenn became a champion of Harper's work, organizing exhibitions, arguing for his significance, and beginning a friendship with Charley what would last until the artist's death.
A hunter in his youth, Glenn eventually traded his shotgun for a pair of binoculars and became an avid birder. He made frequent bird watching trips to the Hawk Mountain Sanctuary in Pennsylvania, the Wetlands Institute in Stone Harbor, NJ, and his beloved Reelfoot Lake in Tennessee.
But his heart, and more importantly his granddaughters, were in North Carolina, and that is where he returned, retiring to Boone to a house he called "The Ridge". There he and his wife Robin hosted friends, made their annual pilgrimage to MerleFest, and talked of the places they still planned to go.
Now he is in a different place and we hope it is full of books and birds and long walks and the occasional bourbon. He was well loved and will be missed.
He is survived by Robin, his wife of twenty-two years and companion for many more; his daughter Lisa Gray and husband Flint, and their daughters Lucy and Emily; his son Tom Williams and wife Colleen; his sister Nancy Box; his brother Monty Williams and wife Jane.
Online condolences may be shared at www.austinandbarnesfuneralhome.com Austin & Barnes Funeral Home and Crematory is serving the Williams family.
The family asks in lieu of flowers a donation be made to The Nature Conservancy in Glenn's honor: https://preserve.nature.org/page/81523/donate/1