Colonie, NY - Dr. Oscar Renal Williams III, of Albany, NY passed away on Monday, September 13, 2021. He was born on February 7, 1966 in Winston Salem, North Carolina to Mrs. Marjorie Midgette Williams and the late Dr. Oscar Renal Williams Jr. He received his early education in Peoria Public Schools, Matoaca Laboratory School at Virginia State University and Chesterfield County Public Schools. As a young boy Oscar was fascinated with trains, history and loved to read books. As an avid reader, he was always reaching for knowledge and wanted to know how things worked. It was quite common for Oscar as a young boy to mix up various concoctions which would quite often lead to mini explosions in the living room. While in elementary school, Oscar excelled in Little League Football receiving many accolades. He attended Carver Middle School in Chesterfield County where he not only excelled in football, Track and Field, but also music. He began playing the piano and the drums. In 1980, Oscar began Thomas Dale High School. He continued his quest for knowledge which landed him in the Honor Society and in Who’s Who Among American High School Students. He would stay up late many nights to finish his homework because he knew the importance of balancing being a good student and being a good sportsman. He continued to compete in Track and Field, Wrestling and Football where he was given the nickname “Big O”. He began playing the saxophone in the Jazz Ensemble and the Concert Band. After graduating from high school, Oscar attended Virginia Military Institute (VMI) where he earned a Bachelors’ Degree in History then a Masters’ Degree from Virginia State University. Following in the footsteps of his father, Oscar attended The Ohio State University where he earned a Ph.D. in History, becoming Dr. Oscar R. Williams III.
Dr. Williams specialized in 19th and 20th century African American History with concentrations in Antebellum Slavery and Intellectual History. He began his career at Clinch Valley College followed by North Carolina Central University. At the time of his passing, he was Associate Professor in the Department of Africana Studies at University of Albany-State University of New York (SUNY) where he had served as Chair of the Department and was currently the Director of Undergraduate Advisement in the Department. Throughout his career, Oscar presented his research and was an invited speaker at numerous conferences including the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, the Organization of American Historians and the American Historical Association. Dr. Williams authored numerous articles, book chapters and the book George S. Schuyler: Portrait of a Black Conservative.
Oscar leaves his wife Mrs. Stephanie A. Williams; a son, Jackson G. Williams; His mother Marjorie M Williams; two sisters, Teresa Williams Hicks (Leonard) and Iris Williams-Kareem (Gamal); niece and nephews Kristina and Nathaniel Hicks, Anwar Kareem; his mother-in-law Pollie (James) Stovall; in-laws Latonya McCray, April Glass, Rita (Greg) Glass, Vanessa Eason, Veronica Word, Paula Mulder-Stovall, Glenda White; Lanny (Alicia) McCalvin, Billie (Diane) Stovall, Freddie (Pam) Stovall; cherished friends Alonzo Lipscomb, Karen Marie Cottrell, Dr. Leonard A. Slade, Jr. and Dr. Adah (Lewis) Ward Randolph, and a host of many nieces, nephews, other relatives and dear friends.
Funeral services will be private.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Jackson G. Williams Education Fund, c/o SEFCU, 655 Patroon Creek Blvd. Albany, NY 12206.
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