A Friend to Man
Lindsey Williams, a friend to man, whose name is written in a book of gold
January 29, 1920 - July 8, 2011
Two of his favorite poems:
Lindsey is best known as a newspaper columnist on politics and history. He was author of three widely circulated books about Charlotte Harbor area history, and was a member of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists.
In his Florida years, Lin was ever "semi-retired," having been a newspaper publisher who owned and operated a group of seven weekly newspapers in Ohio. In addition, he wrote a syndicated column on national current events for 24 newspapers in Ohio and Kentucky.
He was awarded Daughters of the American Revolution national medal for his “leadership, service and patriotism;” the George Washington medal of the Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge for a series of columns “relating American history to current events;” and the Genesis Award by the University Club of Charlotte County for “community service, history and politics.”
He wrote five books on history, three of them about the Charlotte Harbor area. His “Our Fascinating Past: Charlotte Harbor Later Years” -- in collaboration with U.S. Cleveland -- was chosen by the Florida Historical Society for its 1997 Golden Quill Award, the organization’s highest book honor. In addition, the society twice awarded him its Golden Quill for his “outstanding continuing series of local history.” His book “Boldly Onward,” about early Spanish explorers in Florida, is a standard reference for scholars. It is published in its entirety on this site.
--- o ---
Lindsey wrote to deadline for at least 70 years. He edited the Flint, Michigan, Central High School and Mott College newspapers -- but began his professional career as a sports writer for the “ Flint, Michigan, Daily Journal.”
During four years with the U.S. Navy in World War II, he served as Specialist Writer-Public Relations at Detroit; First Class Petty Officer and ship’s photographer aboard convoy escort-destroyer USS McCann, South Atlantic (with one enemy submarine sunk); and Chief Yeoman aboard sonar trainer USS Eagle, Key West, Florida.
Following his honorable discharge after V-J Day, Lin resumed his journalism career as a reporter for the “Detroit Free Press,” followed by positions as Editorial Director for Michigan Bell Telephone Co. at Detroit, and Public Relations Assistant for AT&T at New York City.
Lin returned to his first love, journalism, in 1959 and “semi-retired” in 1982 to Punta Gorda where he was persuaded to continue writing for the Charlotte Herald-News, and then for the Sun Coast Media Group of four daily newspapers in southwest Florida – flagship Sun-Herald.
Among his community service activities – Chairman of the archaeology committee for the Punta Gorda Historical Society; advisory board member for Blanchard Museum of African-American History; advisory board member of the Punta Gorda Historical Mural Society, member of the Calusa Heartland Center at Charlotte Harbor Environmental Center; member Punta Gorda Rotary Club; and the College of Rotary District 669 Governors.
--- o ---
His favorite affiliation was the Fifth Saturday Anomalists, for which he served as "clerk-of-the-works" -- its only quasi-officer -- to remind attenders of confabs. The group holds a retreat four times a year to discuss mysteries of science, history, technology and legend.
Lindsey previously was president of the Charlotte-DeSoto Foundation campus for Florida Southern College; board member of the Charlotte County Cultural Center and the Life Long Learning academy of Edison College Charlotte; chairman of the Punta Gorda and Charlotte County Historical Preservation Boards; board member of the Boca Grande Historical Lighthouse Society; board member of the Florida Historical Society; and Lt. in the Charlotte Harbor Power Squadron.
At Rittman, Ohio, central location of his newspaper printing plant, he was chairman of the Rittman Chamber of Commerce, president of the Rittman Area Industrial Development Corporation, Co-Citizen Of The year with his wife Cona, President of Rittman Rotary Club, Master of Ellenwood Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons, Public Relations Chairman of Boys Village, Chairman of the Wayne County Republican Executive Committee, Chairman of the Wayne County Board of Elections, board of the Wayne County Historical Society for which he wrote a book titled “Old Paths In The New Purchase" and board of the Rittman Historical Society for which he wrote a book titled “Arise Wild Land.”
He was married since 1942 to Cona (nee Barnes) and raised four children, Mrs. Cona II Falcon of North Carolina; Lindsey Charles and grand-daughter Sarah of Georgia; Mrs. Lorie Hager and grand-daughter Cona III Garman and grand-son Erik; Steven Wilger of Sarasota, Florida.
In Rotary, Lin was a Paul Harris Fellow and served as a district governor.
While living in Ohio, he was chairman of the Rotary International Publications Committee. The latter – sitting at Evanston, Ill. -- supervises the Rotary magazine, Rotary News letter, and service information bulletins. During his three-year term, he introduced computer typesetting and also guided production of the pictorial book “World of Rotary” in five languages, including the first in Japanese.
He served, three times as International President’s Representative to other-district conventions, six times as leader to other-state Leadership Training classes, group discussion leader to the 1968 World Assembly of new district governors at Lake Placid, N.Y., and a speaker at the 1975 International Convention in Montreal.In Florida District 6960, Lin served two terms as chairman of the Student Exchange program, and three years as 6960 Representative on the Multi-district Student Exchange committee. He was chairman of the Literacy Program for two years. In Punta Gorda, he served on the membership and vocational committees. Previous assignments were production of honoree banquet videos, charity & scholarship foundation, student-exchange program, and new-member orientation.
Click here for resume