Sydney O. Williams of Newport, son of the late Sydney O. Wolfsohn (Wilson) and Madeline T. Boylan died peacefully at home among family on August 10, 2021. He was born in New York City on April 20, 1928 and was a long-time resident of Newport. He was also the step-son of the late William M. Williams and the late Harley Langan. He was the husband of the late Norma J. (Simone) Williams who preceded him in death in March 2004.

He is survived by his sons Stephen A. Williams and his wife Laura of Middletown, RI: a grandson, Matthew S. Williams and a granddaughter Mia F Williams; his son James M. Williams and his wife Jo Diane Pockette of Plymouth, Massachusetts and granddaughters Tyler and Kelsey Frahlich; his son Christopher T. Williams and partner David Lamarca of New York, New York; and daughter Kathleen M Williams and her husband Russell Crow of Portsmouth, RI. He is also survived by brother Raymond S. Wilson, sister Sandra Gallo and long-term companion Lois Lang of Newport.

He served in WWII as a Quartermaster (USN) in the Navigation Department on board the USS Sicily (CVE-118). He remained attached to the Naval Reserves after discharge from regular Navy service, retiring as a Lieutenant Commander following 20 years of combined service.

He graduated in 1953 from Rhode Island College with a B.Ed. and later received his M.Ed in 1966. He spent the majority of his career in the Newport Public School system. From 1953 to 1966 he was a teacher of elementary and junior high school. Rising through the administration starting in 1966, he finally retired as Assistant Superintendent of Schools in June 1986.

After retirement from Newport public schools, he consulted on numerous reports and committees and was active in many local fraternal organizations and educationally oriented organizations.

He belonged to several organizations among which were The Elks, Fleet Reserve Association, Ancient Order of Hibernians, Dennis Collins Post, The Military Officers Association of America, Newport Historical Society Education Committee, Trustees of Long Wharf and Public Schools, American Legion, Rogers High School Alumni Association, Navy League of the United States, Naval War College Foundation, and Fort Adams Trust.
In 1989, he was vice-chairperson of Newport’s 350th celebration. He served on the Board of Directors of the Rhode Island College Alumni Association from 2005 to the present and also served as a member of the Rhode Island Supreme Court’s Disciplinary Board from 1995 to 2000. He was a mentor for doctoral candidates at the Harvard University Graduate School of Education. He acted as voluntary Archivist for the Newport School Department from 1992 until his death. He also maintained an interest in local and statewide educational affairs.

Visitation will be held on Friday, August 13th from 4-7PM at Memorial Funeral Home 375 Broadway, Newport, RI.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated in St. Joseph’s Church at 9AM on Saturday, August 14th. Burial will be in the family plot with military honors in St. Columba Cemetery in Middletown.

The family requests not to send flowers, but if desired, please send donations in his memory to the Rogers High School Alumni Association, P.O Box 548, Newport RI, 02840.

Memorial Funeral Home

This obituary was originally published by Memorial Funeral Home on It has been republished here with permission and at no cost.