Edward M. Williams Obituary

Edward M. Williams

July 30, 1946 - March 20, 2020. Local poet and writer, Edward (“Ted”) Williams died at the age of 73. He is preceded in death by his wife of 49 years, painter Janet Thayer Williams, and his grandson Charlie Danger Williams. He is survived by his sons, Robert and Phillip Williams; his sister, Pamela Jacobstein; and his brother, Richard Williams. Ted was an iconic figure in Rochester’s literary scene for decades, achieving local fame in the 1990s as the leader of Stage Poetry Company & The Media Assassins, an avant-garde poetry and music ensemble that performed regularly at nightclubs around town.<br/><br/>Ted was born on July 30, 1946, in Rochester. He met Janet while attending New York University, and they were married on April 12, 1969. The couple lived in Vermont for years, first as curators of the Rokeby Museum in Ferrisburgh, then later in Vergennes, where Ted was the publisher and editor of "The Vergennes Citizen" newspaper. Between stints in Vermont, they also lived in New York City, before eventually settling in Rochester in 1985 to raise their two young sons.<br/><br/>At various times throughout his life, Ted described himself as a poet, philosopher, and writer. He was prolific in his literary output, producing 13 books of radical free-verse poetry and 13 books of prose (including novels and collections of essays under his own name and the pseudonyms Lloyd Mintern and Mortimer Shy). Ted was a man of ideas, who delighted in conversation as much as the written word. He was a contrarian by nature, especially drawn to “paradoxes and conundrums,” always striving to make his audience see things in new and counterintuitive ways.<br/><br/>When Janet died two years ago, an irrevocable part of Ted died with her. She was his partner in all things. She was his muse and “Ideal Reader” and the one who understood him best. Together, they were dedicated to a wholly uncompromising artistic life. She was the painter, he was the poet, and everyone who knew them agreed that there was never a couple so well matched. They were both fervent believers in an afterlife, and their family takes solace in the idea that they are together again now, in whatever metaphysical form it may take, accompanied by their baby grandson Charlie.<br/><br/>A Memorial Party to celebrate Ted’s unique life and work will be held at his favorite local haunt, the Rosen Krown on Monroe Avenue, at a date to be determined.
July 30, 1946 - March 20, 202007/30/194603/20/2020
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Obituary

July 30, 1946 - March 20, 2020. Local poet and writer, Edward (“Ted”) Williams died at the age of 73. He is preceded in death by his wife of 49 years, painter Janet Thayer Williams, and his grandson Charlie Danger Williams. He is survived by his sons, Robert and Phillip Williams; his sister, Pamela Jacobstein; and his brother, Richard Williams. Ted was an iconic figure in Rochester’s literary scene for decades, achieving local fame in the 1990s as the leader of Stage Poetry Company & The M...

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