Don Williams, devoted husband, father and grandfather who was a resident of Lake Forest for 50 years, died Monday, Oct. 22, 2012. He was born Oct. 1, 1925, in St. Louis, Missouri. He was a graduate of John Burroughs Private School in St. Louis, MO, Class of 1943, and a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis, Class of 1948, and a member of Sigma Chi Fraternity, of which he was the Social Administrator.
Mr. Williams’ distinguished career in Advertising, Communications and Education spanned more than a half century: 25 years with Foote, Cone & Belding in Chicago; 15 years with Howard Monk & Associates in Rockford, IL; and 22 years with Radio America in Evanston. He also taught Advanced Television Advertising at Roosevelt University’s evening school.
At Foote, Cone & Belding he advanced through a series of creative positions, becoming a Creative Director, and in 1963 he was appointed Vice President-Executive Creative Director. He accepted his next challenge in 1975 at Howard Monk & Associates as Vice President-Director of the Creative Department. In 1990, he joined Radio America.
Mr. Williams created some of the most enduring and celebrated ad campaigns, including “You’ll Wonder Where The Yellow Went When You Brush Your Teeth With Pepsodent,” which won the National Advertising Award for television and radio.
In 1954 during the Korean War, Mr. Williams created the U.S. Savings Bond campaign that resulted in such huge bond sales that he was given a Special Treasury Award by Secretary of the Treasury John W. Snyder.
He also won a New York Art Director Associates Award for the “Windows To Life” Children’s Films Presentation.
At Howard Monk, Mr. Williams created the “Westclox Quartz Time Keeping Campaign,” in which he secured and featured Neil Armstrong, first man on the moon, introducing the first Westclox Digital Quartz wristwatch.
During his more than 50-year advertising career he was instrumental in securing and directing such celebrity talents as Burgess Meredith, Red Skelton, Eva Gabor, Shirley Jones, Peter Graves, Jack Elam, Joey Heatherton, Neville Brand, and Arthur Hill, who were all featured in his commercials.
Mr. Williams worked on such accounts as Frigidaire, Zenith, Hallmark, Johnson’s Wax, Kimberly Clark, Ford Motor Co., Sunbeam, Minneapolis Honeywell, Hiram Walker, Paper Mate, Armour, Ray-O-Vac, and Westclox.
At Radio America, he worked on and created commercials for community participation programs such as Child Abuse, Safe Driving, Drug Abuse, Blood Donations and Missing Children.
He enjoyed boating on the “TILDA,” a 35-foot cabin cruiser, on Lake Geneva for 18 years with family and friends, serving gourmet dinners with his wife, Mathilda; and golf in Palm Desert, Acapulco, Cancun, Lake Geneva and Lake Forest. In his early years in St. Louis, he held a pilot’s license and enjoyed flying as a hobby.
Mr. Williams is survived by his family. He was beloved husband of Mathilda M. Williams; loving and dear father of Teresa Marie Martino (Howard) and Christopher Donald Williams; loving and dear grandfather of Isabella Rose Martino and Gianna Marie Martino; dear brother of Robert Williams of St. Louis; dear sister of Carol (Richard) Mellow of St. Louis. He was preceded in death by his dear mother, Lydia Williams Walker; dear father, Arthur F. Williams, Sr.; dear brother, Arthur F. Williams, Jr.; his stepfather, Johnny Walker; stepbrother, Johnny Walker; and stepsister, Betty Rae Walker.
He will be missed by everyone who knew him, and especially by his wife of 50 years, Mathilda, his children and granddaughters who meant the world to him.
A Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, Oct. 27, at 11:30 a.m. at St. Mary’s Church, 175 E. Illinois Road, Lake Forest (847-234-0205).
In lieu of flowers, a memorial has been established at the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, 8201 Corporate Drive, Suite 1000, Landover, MD 20785.