Yesterday our community and country lost a great public servant when Ambassador Richard S Williamson passed away.
From the football field at New Trier High School and Princeton, to the corridors of power of the White House and United Nations, Rich excelled at everything he pursued. He was that rare combination of gentleman, scholar, statesman and athlete that almost seemed from another era of American life.
Rich served three U.S. Presidents as a diplomat and adviser. He also authored many thoughtful books and articles on international affairs. His most recent diplomatic assignment was serving as Special Envoy to the Sudan and he worked tirelessly to end the genocide there. Rich also served as Illinois Republican Party Chair in the late 1990s and was the Illinois Republican National Committeeman when he died.
Rich was also a very generous with his time and was a great sounding board to me and other Republican Party leaders throughout the state. One of the last times I saw Rich was last summer at his house. When I arrived, he was in the middle of a lively video chat he was having with his infant grandchild and it was a delight to watch the joy it gave him.
Rich’s loving wife Jane and his children are in our prayers as they mourn their loss and remember his wonderful life and contributions to the world. I hope they will be comforted by the words of Matthew that “blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God."
We remember Rich’s warm personality and legacy of service knowing that eternal peace is now his.
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