August 17, 1945 – January 11, 2018
Edward “Bruce” Williams, Ph.D., 72, died peacefully on Thursday, January 11, 2018 from a two plus week bout of sepsis after struggling and improving dramatically from a five month bacterial infection.
Bruce was born on August 17, 1945 in Pittsburg, PA, to the late Edward Barnard Williams, and Emma (Goetzinger) Williams. He grew up in Wilmington, Delaware and went to high school in Allen Park, Michigan. As a college student in the Boston, MA area, Bruce met his partner in life, Barbara Louise (Baker) Williams, MD, Ph.D. They were introduced to films, theaters, museums, concerts, lectures, and the cultural aspects of that city as well as to the seashore and mountains that were only a few hours away. They married in Euclid, OH on December 27, 1967 and celebrated their 50th anniversary recently. They continued their passion for the arts throughout their marriage. She survives together with one son Eric B. Williams of South Bend, IN.
Bruce received his Bachelor of Science and PhD degrees in mathematics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, MA. After graduation, he was a research mathematician and taught mathematics at Rice University in Houston, TX. before coming to the University of Notre Dame. His research focus was algebraic/geometric topology, collaborating with mathematicians from universities in North America and Europe. He was a visiting professor at University of Minnesota, Northwestern University and the University of Chicago. He lectured in many North American Universities as well as in Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and Germany. Bruce retired in January, 2015 from his 40 years as a mathematics professor at the University of Notre Dame.
Bruce was an avid reader and followed current events closely. As a child he carried a briefcase with a math or physics book to school. As an adult, he carried his iPad or novel with him wherever he went.
Bruce was preceded in death by his mother, father and his sister Pamela J. (Williams) Tracy.
A Memorial Service will be held at the First Unitarian Church on Saturday,February 10, 2018, at 11am, with Rev. Chip Roush, officiating. Cremation was entrusted to McGann Hay’s American Cremation Society.
In Lieu of flowers Memorial Donations in Bruce’s memory may be made to: First Unitarian Church of South Bend, IN. 801 E. Washington St. South Bend, IN. 46617 or to National Kidney Foundation 30 E. 33rd St New York, NY. 10016.
To send condolences, please visit: www.McGannHay.com