Obituary: Mary Carol Williams March 24, 2020


Mary Carol Williams, age 77, passed away on Tuesday, March 24, 2020. She passed peacefully in her memory care facility following a long battle with Alzheimer’s.

Mary Carol is preceded in death by her loving husband of 55 years, Joel Mann Williams Jr., her mother, father, and brother.

She is survived by daughter Reine, son Michael, grandchildren Steven and Morgan, and many other family members back home in Virginia. Mary Carol also leaves behind countless friends and colleagues.

Mary Carol was born in Norfolk, Virginia, to John and Mildred Gregory. After graduating high school, she moved to Williamsburg, Virginia, to attend the College of William and Mary. At William and Mary, she met Joel in college while working on a degree in chemistry. Soon after Joel’s graduation, Joel and Mary Carol got married, then moved to Evanston, IL. Mary Carol worked at a local Emergency Room while Joel attended Northwestern University to earn a PhD in Chemistry.

After starting a family, Joel, Mary Carol, Reine, and Michael lived briefly in Evanston, then in St. Paul, Minnesota, before returning to their native state and the city of Waynesboro, Virginia. Mary Carol raised the family while Joel worked at DuPont Corporation for a few years before moving again, in 1972, to Los Alamos, New Mexico.

After a few years raising a family, Mary Carol began a career at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. She also continued her education and received her bachelor’s and master’s degree in chemistry. When Reine and Michael went off to college, Mary Carol did the same, earning two additional master’s degrees in industrial hygiene and ergonomics. Mary Carol had a long and distinguished career at LANL working in chemistry, health and safety, and ergonomics.

Mary Carol’s passions included traveling, art, and gardening. Mary Carol, Joel, Reine and Michael have traveled to every US state, nearly every national park, and many countries. Mary Carol and Joel took the grandchildren on numerous vacations as well. Mary Carol and Joel both obtained pilots’ licenses. Over the years they flew the family across the county and volunteered for many Civil Air Patrol search/rescue and fire support missions.

Mary Carol was an accomplished artist in watercolor painting and photography. Her works have been widely displayed and published. She volunteered and served on the board of both the local art center and the environmental nature center (Pajarito Environmental Education Center—PEEC). But more than any other hobby, Mary Carol loved painting and working in her back yard—a certified wildlife and nature habitat. Her love for birds and animals was incredible—her family called her the bird whisperer.

Funeral services for Mary Carol will be limited to family members only, due to the current COVID‑19 viral outbreak and precautions. Memorial services will not be scheduled at this time for the same reasons.

In lieu of any gifts, flowers, or other generous offerings, the family requests donations be made to the Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church, to local Los Alamos charities, to support the international effort to fight COVID‑19, or to Alzheimer’s research.