Jerry G. Williams Scholarship Endowment
Virginia Williams met her husband, Jerry, in high school. Even then, he was a hard-working, aggressive person, she said.
That industriousness led to a successful career in the timber business, from corporate positions to running pulp mills, sawmills and plywood manufacturing plants.
The entrepreneur in him bloomed in Smithfield when he opened a sawmill in 1986. “We put our life savings into it,” Mrs. Williams said, “and he went at it with determination.”
Decades later, Jerry Williams wanted to bring his sons into the business. They left their different industries and joined their father. “He wanted the family involved,” she said.
Tragedy struck when son Scott was killed in a motorcycle accident. Friends in the timber business contributed to an endowment at Johnston Community College in honor of Scott. That gave Mrs. Williams the idea to do the same later when her husband Jerry died.
She would like the Jerry G. Williams Scholarship Endowment scholarships to support students interested in any of the vocational trades. Her husband would want to support those who worked with their hands.
The reason for supporting JCC is clear cut to her husband and to her. “For the good of the community and the education of the young people in this community,” she said, “that’s why.”