Ronald L. Williams
July 30, 1935 - April 26, 2004
Ron was born in Akron, Ohio, the first of four boys. He grew up in Cuyahoga Falls, graduating from
Cuyahoga Falls High School in January 1953. He then enrolled at Ohio Northern University,
where he received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Pharmacy in 1957.
On graduation he practiced in a community pharmacy in Akron until 1964. At that time he had the opportunity to
own and operate a small professional pharmacy in Cuyahoga Falls. Although the pharmacy was successful, Ron
realized that he had not achieved the professional satisfaction that he sought. During the time that he was
operating the pharmacy, he became involved in local and state association work, where he served as president
of both the Summit Country and the Ohio Pharmacy Association.
He enrolled in the graduate program at Ohio State University where he became a graduate assistant. He knew that
he still had not found what he sought and on the advice of his professor he contacted Dr. William Apple, Executive
director of APhA at that time. In 1968 Ron followed Dr. Apple's suggestion that he move to Washington, DC to begin
his career with APhA. As a member of the APhA Staff from 1968 until 1998, he served the Association in many
capacities. However, the one thing nearest and dearest to his heart; Ron devoted his untiring attention to improve
the health and careers of pharmacists who suffer from alcohol and chemical dependencies. During his career, Ron
was instrumental in the development of Pharmacist Recovery Programs (PRNs) that assist pharmacists and student
pharmacists who have become impaired by dependence on alcohol and other drugs. Due to Ron’s efforts, countless
lives have been saved throughout the years.
Ron suffered a fall in his condo in Washington on Wednesday, April 21 and died at the George Washington
University Hospital on Monday, April 26, 2004. There was a memorial service held in the rotunda of the APhA
Headquarters on May 2, 2004.
Ron also served as the long-time coordinator of the Pharmacy Section at the University of Utah School on
Alcoholism and Other Drug Dependencies. In June 2004, the following was read at a memorial service at the School.
When I come to the end of the road
And the sun has set for me,
I want no rites in a gloom-filled room.
Why cry for a soul set free?
Miss me a little, but not too long,
And not with your head bowed low.
Remember the love that we once shared,
Miss me, but let me go.
For this is a journey that we all must take
And each must go alone.
It's all a part of the Master's Plan,
A step on the road to home.
When you are lonely and sick of heart,
Go to the friends we know
And bury your sorrows in doing good deeds
Miss me, but let me go.