Oxley-Heard Funeral Home has been serving the community since 1931.
Robert Edward Williams

Robert Edward Williams

August 1, 1943 - September 13, 2018     Age: 75

Robert Edward Williams, passed from this earth on Thursday, September 13, 2018 at the Warner Center for Caring.  He was born in Boston, Massachusetts, on August 1, 1943, and moved to Jacksonville at the age of 12. He attended Duval County Schools and graduated from Terry Parker High School.  He received his undergraduate degree in political science from Emory University and his law degree from the University of Florida.  Judge Williams moved to Nassau County in 1968 and taught Algebra, French, Civics and Reading at Hilliard Middle/High School for four years while also managing a private law practice.  He was Hilliard Teacher of the Year in 1971 and 1972, Nassau County Teacher of the Year in 1971 and First Runner-Up Florida Teacher of the Year in 1971. In 1972 he became the first prosecutor based in Nassau County, and served until 1984; he was elected County Judge of Nassau County, and served as County and Juvenile Judge for twenty-two years until his retirement in 2007. Over the years he presided at the Historic Courthouse in downtown Fernandina Beach, a temporary courthouse in Yulee, and the Robert M. Foster Justice Center. Upon his retirement, a Courtroom in the Justice Center was named in his honor.

Judge Williams became a pillar of the community and served in a wide variety of community activities. In 1998 he founded Nassau County’s Teen Court, a diversionary program to help troubled teenagers, and continued to preside over that court until his passing.  He served as president of the Nassau County Bar Association, the Nassau County Teachers Association, the Nassau County Legal Aid Society, Nassau County United Way, and Nassau County Big Brothers/Big Sisters. Judge Williams was Chairman of the Juvenile Justice Advisory Council and served on the Boards of the Nassau County Association for Retarded Citizens, Micah’s Place, Florida Community College, the Florida Conference of County Judges and Governor’s HRS Advisory Committee.  He was a member of the Rotary Club of Hilliard, the Nassau County Domestic Violence Task Force, the Neighborhood Youth Crime Prevention Program, the Northeast Florida Fair Association, the Amelia Musical Playhouse, the Amelia Community Theater and was a Charter Member of the Optimist Club of Fernandina Beach.  In addition to his Teacher of the Year Awards, he received community service awards from the Guardian ad Litem, Rotary Club Citizenship, Department of Juvenile Justice, 4-H Club of Nassau County and the Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services.  In 2007 he was awarded the Nassau County “Volunteer of the Year” award for his then thirty-eight years of service to the community by the Nassau County Volunteer Center. His retirement years have been filled with the love of family and good friends, travel and literature.

Judge Williams is survived by his wife of 34 years, Mary Speece Williams, who served as Director of the Nassau County Cooperative Extension Service for twenty-two years, and loving sons, Zachary and Casey; sister, Mary LeVasseur of Oakville, Connecticut, numerous nieces and nephews.

A Memorial Service will be held at 11:00 am on Saturday, September 22, 2018 at the Amelia Island Plantation Chapel with a reception to follow at the chapel.

Flowers will be provided by the family. Those desiring may make contributions in his memory to the “Robert E. Williams Nassau County Teen Court Scholarship Fund”, 76347 Veterans Way, Yulee, Florida  32097

21 Condolences

  • Chris Bryan Posted September 16, 2018 5:37 pm

    Prayers for Mary and the boys. Bob was a special man who shared his many talents with our community. We were all truly blessed to have him in our lives.

  • Robert M. Foster Posted September 16, 2018 6:24 pm

    Nassau County has lost a truly great man, whose kindness, caring and dedication to the welfare of others has made the lives of many happier and more fruitful. We were fortunate to have him in our midst for so many years. May he Rest In Peace and continue to watch over Mary and the boys.

  • Cathy Faraci Posted September 16, 2018 6:50 pm

    Truly sad to loose such a wonderful human being. My love and prayers to the family♥️

  • Spence Posted September 16, 2018 8:23 pm

    Rest well my friend…I will miss you

  • Scott Tinman Posted September 17, 2018 8:10 am

    We are fortunate to have angels in our midst and Bob was a special angel! My condolences to you Mary are heartfelt. God’s Peace and comfort be with you and your family.

  • Charles Reed Posted September 17, 2018 2:49 pm

    I am sadddend to hear of your passing . Your Civics
    Class gave me an life long interest in our government.

  • Mary Vollenweider Posted September 17, 2018 3:06 pm

    Remembering a humble, great man.

  • Melanie Page Hoover Posted September 17, 2018 6:38 pm

    He will never be forgotten in Nassau County. I remember the first day he arrived at Hilliard School.. He was a kind and very giving individual from day one as his obituary shows.
    He was an attribute to our county and to many as individuals. He inspired my life as a teacher. He didn’t just teach, he cared!
    My heartfelt condolences to Mary, his two sons and any extended family. He will be missed by many and left a huge impact in our community.

  • Larry Sylvester and Family Posted September 17, 2018 7:33 pm

    We are saddened to hear of the passing of Bob, a true southern gentleman, who touched so many lives during his time upon this earth. I will remember with extreme fondness the time and music we shared in the Amelia Island Chorale. The world has lost a kind and giving soul and our thoughts and prayers are with Mary, Zach, Casey, and the multitude of family and friends he has left behind.

  • Gene Nichols Posted September 18, 2018 1:45 pm

    I had the pleasure of practicing law in front of Judge Williams for several years. He was a true gentlemen in every sense of the word. I never appeared before him where he did not first ask about my family. His family should know there are dozens of lawyers who learned how to practice law from Judge Williams. Knowing him was my honor.

  • Toni D’Amico Posted September 18, 2018 4:48 pm

    I had the pleasure of volunteering with Bob at ACT. As a matter of fact he was in the first show I directed there, “You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown”. He played the lovable Charlie Brown. He was a great Charlie Brown. I have read all the wonderful things people have said about Bob. His kindness, generosity and caring spirit, he was also so very talented. He made a show better just by being in it. There was a song in Charlie Brown called “Happiness”, a verse from the song is “Happiness is anyone and anything at all that’s loved by you.” Bob Williams loved his family and community, therefore brought so much happiness to so many.
    You Were a Good Man Bob Williams.
    My deepest sympathies to you Mary and your family.

  • Amber Kramer Posted September 18, 2018 9:51 pm

    Bill was such a wonderful man and I’m so glad I got to share the stage with him many times. Condolences to Mary and Zach and my thoughts and prayers continue as well.?

  • Betty Cox Posted September 19, 2018 1:23 pm

    Mary, I am so sorry to hear of Bob’s passing. My sympathies are with you and your family.

  • Jennifer McCarthy Posted September 19, 2018 3:13 pm

    Bob was such an amazing pleasure to be around. I am honored to have been able to get to know his humorous charm. My love to Mary, Zach and Casey.

  • EDDIE LEE JONES JR Posted September 20, 2018 12:40 pm


  • EJ OGIER Posted September 20, 2018 4:49 pm

    Bob was a high school friend and classmate of mine in the 60’s. I’m proud of all of his accomplishments throughout his life. Such a sweet and great man. RIP Bob.

  • Janice and Louis Hodges Posted September 20, 2018 10:21 pm

    We have lost a great caring man, Judge and friend. He will be remembered always.

  • PD-GA Posted September 21, 2018 12:41 pm

    My sincerest condolences to the family. It is obvious from the many wonderfully kind expressions that your loved one will be sorely missed. May the God of all comfort grant you strength and peace during this most difficult time. (2 Corinthians 1:3, 4)

  • Margaret Johnson and family Posted September 21, 2018 5:08 pm

    Judge Williams was a wonderful person and contributed greatly to our community and the youth of Nassau County.He will be greatly missed. My sincere condolence and prayers to his family and others close to him.

  • Kate Harris Posted September 23, 2018 8:44 am

    Bob had the most contagious smile and wonderful energy. Meeting him as the “mysterious man” in Into The Woods was a delight and we had a lot of fun backstage waiting for our onstage moments. He was legendary in Nassau County and such a special part of the theatre community in retirement. Much love to Mary, Zach, Casey, Rachel and family.

  • DeeDee Galloway-Potter Posted September 26, 2018 6:09 pm

    So sad to lose a friend of 50 years…a true, generous friend you could count on. Will miss his witty comments! Love to Mary, Zach and Casey!

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