Ralph Lawrence Williams
Ralph Lawrence Williams, 82, of Bandera, Texas, passed away Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013, in San Antonio. He was born in Tyronza, Arkansas, to Effie Dean Coates Williams and Cecil E. Williams on Nov. 12, 1930.
He married Linda Dianne Breed on Nov. 29, 1991, in St. Francisville, Louisiana.
Master Sgt. Williams attended school at Marked Tree, Arkansas, and graduated with the class of 1955 after returning from a tour of duty with the United States Army in Korea.
He worked as a diesel mechanic, real estate agent and had his own lawn care business; however, his primary career was with the US Army as a veteran of Korea and Vietnam. Master Sgt. Williams entered the Army in September 1948 and retired April 30, 1977.
His last assignment was at Rice University in Houston as a senior ROTC instructor, which was a Special Forces assignment. Other duty assignments included Korea, where he arrived nine days after that war started in 1950. Additional assignments included Japan, Germany, Panama and Fort Devins, Massachusetts.
Master Sgt. Williams served two tours in Vietnam with the 5th Special Forces Group. He was the 14th man assigned to the company-sized Army Long Range Patrol unit formed as an experimental unit in Wildflecken, Germany. This unit later became the 75th Rangers.
Master Sgt. Williams spent 13 years and eight months with Special Forces, including 3rd, 5th, 7th, 8th, and 10th Groups.
His awards and decorations include CIB, Bronze Star medal, Air Medal, Army Commendation Medal with Oak Leaf, Good Conduct Medal with Six Clusters, Army Occupation Medal-Japan, National Defense Service Medal, Korean Service Medal with One Silver and Two Bronze Stars, Vietnam Service Medal with One Silver and Two Bronze Stars, United Nations Korea, Republic of Vietnam Campaign with 60 Device, Parachute Badge and HALO Parachute Badge, Presidential Unit Citation with 6 Oak Leaf Clusters, Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation and Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross unit Citation with Palm Leaf.
Master Sgt. Williams is survived by his wife, Linda Breed Williams; son Ralph Luther Williams; sister Reva Williams; and brothers, Harold Williams and Morris Williams.
He was predeceased by his brothers, Cecil Williams and Irvin Williams.
A memorial service was held Wednesday, Sept. 13, at Grimes Funeral Chapel of Bandera with the Reverend Doctor Dick Sisk of Tarpley Baptist Church officiating and Dr. Conrad Nightingale speaking.
Memorials may be given to St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital or Shriners Hospital for Children.
Condolences may be sent to the family by selecting the "Send Condolences" link at www.grimesfuneralchapels.com.
Arrangements were entrusted to Grimes Funeral Chapels of Bandera.