Llwanda Marie “Lou” Williams, 94, died in Charlottesville, VA, on September 18, 2023. She was born on May 23, 1929, in Vandergrift, Pa., the only child of the late Marie Townsend and E. Paul Knepshield.
She grew up in Vandergrift, attended Washington Township High School, and then Westminster College in Pennsylvania. She graduated in 1952 with a degree in education. Lou was a proud member of the Delta Zeta sorority. She later helped establish Delta Zeta at the University of Virginia by finding, purchasing, and outfitting their sorority house, and serving as their chapter director for more than a decade.
While attending a “sock hop” at Westminster, she met and later married her husband of 68 years, D. Alan Williams. After graduating, they worked together to allow Alan to earn his Ph.D. in American History from Northwestern University. Lou was a beloved first grade teacher for nearly thirty years, including nineteen years at St. Anne's-Belfield School. Many students knew her as “The Tooth Fairy” because she often helped them part ways with their baby teeth.
Lou and Alan came to the University of Virginia in 1957, where Alan taught courses in Early American and Virginia history for 43 years. For over thirty years, Alan represented the University as the Faculty Athletics Representative to the Atlantic Coast Conference and the National Collegiate Athletics Association. During this time, Lou and Alan attended many conferences and sporting events, and made terrific friendships that lasted the rest of their lives.
A lifelong Presbyterian, Lou was a devoted member of the Westminster Presbyterian Church since 1957. She taught first grade Sunday school and summer bible study. She and Alan hosted international students through UVA. Lou was active in the Children’s Theater program. She was an adult reading tutor, served on the board of Ronald McDonald House, and shared many happy years with her friends in the UVA Women’s Club.
In retirement, Lou and Alan toured the world, being fortunate to visit over 55 countries. Devoted Wahoos, they could often be found cheering loudly at Cavalier basketball and football games. A voracious reader, she consumed hundreds of books on her electronic reader. In later years, they were morning regulars at The Villa Diner where she savored the “Super Big Complete Breakfast”.
Lou is survived by her three sons, Scott Williams of Tucson, Ariz., and his wife, Amy, Todd Williams of Charlottesville, Va., and Kevin Williams of Frederick, Md., and his wife, Jennifer. She was also blessed with four beloved granddaughters "the four cousins," Holly Williams, Meg Williams, and Rachel Williams and Hannah Flores; and three great-grandchildren, Ryleigh Miller Flores, Cooper Alan Flores, and Caroline Grace Flores. Her loving sister in-law, Jeannette Williams of Boardman, Ohio also survives her.
She was a shining example of how to live life well. Lou was a wonderful mother, grandmother, and mother-in-law. She made each member of her family feel special. She was smart, creative, funny, and caring. She was quick to smile and generous with her hugs. It was always a treat to spend time with her.
The Williams family expresses thanks to the staff of The Colonnades, where Mom and Dad lived happily for many years. They also extend their sincerest gratitude to Teresa St. Germain and her team at Attentive Quality Care for the dedicated and loving care they provided their mother.
An informal celebration of life will be held from 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, October 28, 2023 at Westminster Presbyterian Church Fellowship Hall.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the D.A. and L.K. Williams Scholarship Fund at Westminster College at https://www.westminster.edu/alumni/give.cfm. This scholarship benefits students who strive to be teachers. To Lou and Alan, there was no more important or rewarding career path that a student could choose.
Condolences may be sent to the family on the Tribute Wall.