Wheaton magazine

Volume 22 // Issue 3
Wheaton magazine // Autumn 2019
In Memory

In Memory: Dr. George “Bud” Williams Jr. M.A. ’66

“Love the LORD your God with all your passion and prayer and muscle and intelligence,” Jesus says, “and love your neighbor as well as you do yourself,” (Luke 10:27, THEMESSAGE).

Nancy ’72 and Bill Long ’72, HoneyRock staff members from 1972 to 2013, say that this verse comes to mind when they think of Bud Williams.

For me, and for many, many others, Bud was a mentor, coach, teacher, prayer warrior, and friend.

Bud was a pioneering leader in the Christian camping movement. He was instrumental in the development of HoneyRock, where he served for 50 summers; and he was one of the catalysts behind Vanguard, the early iteration of Wheaton Passage, which has served over 6,000 students since 1969.

Dan Bolin, former director of Christian Camping International, says, “If CCI had a Mt. Rushmore, Bud’s face would be on it.” Bolin says that Bud’s contribution to Christian camping was deep and wide: deep was his scholarship and leadership that shaped generations of leaders; wide was his tireless work spreading the movement globally.

Bud served in Wheaton’s Department of Physical Education from 1963 to 2017, minus three years of military service during the Vietnam War. He taught thousands of students to enjoy God’s creation through rock climbing, mountain biking, canoeing, and cross-country skiing—and he challenged their stamina with his own.

Athletic Director Julie Davis ’91 remembers, “He always told me I was doing a great job. He also rode our legs off on the mountain bike trails at HoneyRock.” And Bud was the one who carved those trails out of the woods.

Bud died June 12, 2019. He is survived by his wife Edith Koehler Williams M.A. ’97, his sons Nate ’95 (Ginny ’98) and Cameron ’00 (Christine ’01), daughter Noelle Hogan ’93, and nine grandchildren. He is also survived by more than 14,000 students who have profited from his teaching and mentoring since 1963.