DR. T. FRANKLIN WILLIAMS

Posted on Dec 07, 2011 - 04:22 PM

Dr. T. Franklin Williams, a former director of the National Institute on Aging and an early proponent of geriatric care as a medical specialty, died at his home in Rochester, N.Y., on Nov. 25, 2011 the day before his 90th birthday.

Dr. Williams was director of NIA, a division of the National Institutes of Health, from 1983 to 1991. Created by Congress in 1974, the institute supports and conducts an array of scientific, social and economic research related to the aging process.

As director, he also started programs that continue today, among them research on Alzheimer’s disease, studies on the connection between retirement and health, and collaborative efforts with international organizations that study aging.

He was born in Belmont, N.C., on Nov. 26, 1921. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of North Carolina in 1942. After serving as a communications officer aboard a Navy cruiser during World War II, he received his medical degree from Harvard University in 1950. He taught at the University of North Carolina before joining the University of Rochester faculty in 1968.

Survivors include his wife of nearly 60 years, the former Catharine Carter Catlett of Gloucester, Va.; a daughter, Mary Wright Williams Montague of Gloucester; a son, Thomas Nelson Williams of Rochester; four grandchildren and two step-grandchildren.

A celebration of his life will be held at 2 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 10, at St. Luke and St. Simon Cyrene Episcopal Church, 17 South Fitzhugh Street, Rochester.

Contributions in his memory can be made to the church or to the T. Franklin Williams Foundation at Monroe Community Hospital, 435 East Henrietta Road, Rochester, N.Y. 14620.