The former mayor of Quinte West John Williams has died at the age of 65.
In a social media post, his son, Belleville councillor Ryan Williams, announced his father had died surrounded by loved ones and a palliative care team.
John was married for 44 years, and had several grandchildren, according to Ryan.
“John was the man, defined by his get er’ done (sic) mentality and leadership. He was an incredible husband, father, brother, son, uncle, friend and poppa,” Ryan said in his Facebook post.
In his post, Ryan listed many of his father’s accomplishments, including the founding of Williams Hotels in 1979, and his time as Quinte West mayor, from 2006 to 2014.
His legacy projects as mayor include bringing the YMCA and the Trent Port Marina to the region, as well as establishing a stronger bond between the municipality with CFB Trenton.
Ryan said John also helped lead the formation of the Afghanistan repatriation memorial in Quinte West.
Belleville Mayor Mitch Panciuk sent out his condolences in a statement Tuesday, also highlighting John’s work with CFB Trenton.
“These efforts were recognized when he was presented the Canadian Forces Medallion for Distinguished Service, by the Canadian Armed Forces to recognize distinguished or outstanding service performed by persons other than active military personnel.”
Panciuk continued, saying “there are few areas in our community that do not bear John’s imprint.”
He listed John’s involvements in other organizations in the Quinte regions. He was long-time chair of the Quinte Economic Development Commission, a member of the Trenton Memorial Hospital Foundation for 12 years — chairing the board for two — a member of Albert College board of governors for 10 years — chairing it for two — chair of the Belleville General Hospital Excellence For Life Fundraising Campaign.
He was also a member of the Loyalist College board of governors and served on the board from 2004 until 2010 — chairing and serving as a member of numerous committees — and was vice-chair of the board from 2006 until 2009.
Panciuk noted that John’s most recent venture was his time co-chairing the Heart and Home Building campaign to raise funds for the news Hospice Quinte Care Centre.
“He joined the campaign because he believed strongly in the importance of a safe refuge for those struggling through the difficult journey of life-limiting illness, death and grief,” Panciuk said.
Panciuk extended condolences on behalf of all staff at City hall to John’s family, and to his son and fellow councilmen Ryan.
“Our thoughts are with them in this time of sorrow.”
Funeral arrangements have not yet been released.