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Kirk Williams

December 5, 1936 ~ May 22, 2017 (age 80)

Colonel David Kirk Williams, a retired Army officer, passed away suddenly at his home in Alexandria, Virginia, on May 22, 2017. Kirk was born in Washington, D.C., and grew up in Fairlington in Arlington, the son of a member of the senior executive service. He attended Episcopal High School in Alexandria, where he was a member of the undefeated 1953 football team and earned a football scholarship to Rice University in Houston. He remained loyal to EHS and enjoyed activities at the school and friendships with many of his classmates all of his life. While attending Rice, he married his junior high school sweetheart Elizabeth Butler (Bette), and they were happily married for 56 years until her death in 2014. He took Army ROTC while attending Rice and was commissioned a second lieutenant upon graduation and served for nearly 30 years.  

Kirk was one of the most accomplished staff officers of his generation and had a reputation for solving thorny leadership issues with smoothness and diplomacy. He was highly sought for his wisdom and skill in the Washington arena. In the latter years of his service he held a string of demanding appointments including the assistant to the chief of staff of the army for general officer matters, commander of enlisted records activity, and Deputy The Adjutant General for the Army. 

Earlier in his career he attended the Airborne and Ranger training courses, the Army Command and General Staff College and the Army War College. He served in a number of America’s trouble spots of his era, including Korea, The Dominican Republic, and Vietnam. He built his reputation as a soldier-scholar-diplomat in the early 1960s as the Administrative Officer to US National Military Representative to Supreme Headquarters, Allied Powers Europe in Paris, France, and later in Mons, Belgium, when the headquarters moved.    

Kirk was an adept golfer, an enthusiastic gardener, and an avid reader. His curiosity and desire to learn never waned. He left behind multiple lists of subjects to learn and projects to tackle. He is remembered by his friends and family as honorable, thoughtful, fun, and so very charming. Our world is a lesser place without him in it. He is survived by his daughter and son, his three grandchildren, his sister, two nephews and a circle of devoted friends. 

Services will take place at Arlington National Cemetery at a future date.


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