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In Memoriam: Philip Williams

philip williams

Memorial service and reception:
Saturday, August 23, 2014
1:30–3:30 pm
Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research in the Gunn Building, 366 Galvez St. (cross street is Serra, off Campus Drive East).
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations in his memory be made to Peninsula Volunteers–Rosener Hse, 500 Arbor, Menlo Park, CA 94025.

 

 


Philip C. Williams
Sept. 30, 1931 – June 26, 2014 

Phil Williams, influential University Architect & Director of Planning at Stanford University, died unexpectedly June 26. From 1975 – 1992 he set his imprint on the campus with architectural guidelines affecting over 35 major buildings and open spaces, and oversaw two General Use Permit updates.

Phil cared deeply about historic preservation of the venerable campus, the quality of landscaped “people places,” and the sensitivity of new plans to the original 1880s campus design.  Balance, order, permanence, unity-in-variety, and the delight of the unexpected element were hallmarks of his aesthetic.

He mentored a generation of planners with short, pithy remarks such as: “If they don’t understand you, you haven’t said anything.”

Chicago-born, he earned both a BA and MA in architecture from Oklahoma  State University.  After military service, he joined Caudill Rowlett Scott in Houston as a university specialist, rising to partner and senior vice president.

Talented at ceramics, painting, silk screening and photography, he was also an avid traveler, basketball fan, and punster, renowned  for his wit.

Survivors include his wife of 41 years, Ellen Sutow Williams, also a long-time Stanford employee; his brother, Jim; his three children – David (Laurie Peller), Laurie Von Sternberg (Rusty) and Sherrie Winokur (Doug); and five grandchildren.

 

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