William (Bill) Clayton Williams lived in Higgins Lake for the majority of his life. Bill attended Gerrish-Higgins Schools from first to fourth grade before his parents, Clayton and Harriet, relocated to the Jackson area to aid the war effort. The family returned in 1949 for Bill to complete his senior year of high school at Gerrish-Higgins.
In an interview with Harriet in 2005, she stated “Bill was interested in so many things.” He was an avid reader, a member of the swim team, an honors student, a member of the football team, attended dance classes. a member of the order of the DeMorlay (Junior Masons) and was an Eagle Scout who was selected for the Order of Arrow in 1946.
After high school, Bill was accepted into the University of Michigan to study engineering. Just like his formative years, Bill was involved in many extra-curricular activities while at U of M. In addition to being a full time student, Bill was a member of the NROTC and two fraternities: Pi Tau Sigma and Delta Tau Delta. Harriet recalls Bill saying, ” You know, I could have a lot of fun at Michigan if I didn’t have to study.” Sadly, in June of 1953 Bill was involved in a tragic car accident near Hartwick Pines that claimed his life. The accident occurred right before he was to report for duty for the Navy.
To this day, two words come to mind when remembering Bill Williams: accomplished and hard-working. Nearly 50 years later after the death of her husband, Harriet decided to establish a scholarship fund to keep Bill’s memory alive. Her wish was to “reward and recognize other young people who demonstrate the creativity and hard work exemplified by my son.”
The criteria to apply for the William C. Williams (Class of 1950) Memorial Scholarship Fund is to be a Roscommon High School senior who plans to attend the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor as a freshman.