On March 26, 2018 Dr. Charles “Red” Williams completed his remarkable life’s journey. He passed away while living at Sherbrooke Community Centre, the home he devoted so much of his life to. We cannot thank you enough, Red.
The biography of Charles “Red” Williams is an epic one. Born in Regina in 1925, Williams was a World War II veteran, a member of the Order of Canada and a fellow of the Agricultural Institute of Canada. He taught at the University of Saskatchewan for over 50 years, during which time he served as head of the Animal and Poultry Science department and worked extensively on the university’s extension programs. “In my lifetime, we went from steam engines to combines and GPS. We’ve increased the productivity of livestock in the dairy industry by about fourfold and, of course, replaced the horse with machinery. It’s been a huge advancement.” Although he formally retired in 1991, Williams, as Professor Emeritus, continued to teach at the College of Agriculture and Bioresources until 2008. His lectures and his extension work took him all over the world; he assisted in more than 30 overseas development projects. For over 25 years, he maintained a radio show and newspaper column.
Red served nearly 30 years on the Sherbrooke Foundation Board from 1988 to to 2017. He was also on the Board of Sherbrooke Community Society from 1993 to 2017. We often joked that Red never left the Board because we wouldn’t let him go. During that time he has helped to develop Sherbrooke into a world class home for our elders. Dr. Williams has been a generous donor to Sherbrooke and chaired the Sherbrooke Foundation from June 16, 1993 to the present. Red’s big heart and keen mind made him a much loved member of our community and a passionate supporter of the Veterans Village. Red’s heart has always been with Sherbrooke and he is highly respected and loved member of our community.
Red started the Sherbrooke Foundation Planned Giving Program by planning an estate gift with a life insurance policy. We recognized Red’s long years of service and his generosity by naming a house in the Kinsmen Village in his honour. Green Gables House is named for his mother Charlotte (MacDonald) Williams and his aunt Dorothy MacDonald both born in Prince Edward Island. The name Green Gables comes as a result of Charlotte and Dorothy’s friendship with Lucy Maude Montgomery the author of Anne of Green Gables. Charlotte and Dorothy were friends of Lucy’s during their time at Prince of Wales College in Charlottetown, PEI. The sisters travelled in their youth to become Prairie schoolteachers teaching for their careers in small Saskatchewan towns south of Regina. In their later years they shared a room together in the Cedars wing of the old Sherbrooke buildings.