85, noted Grand Rapids area businessman and philanthropist, beloved Father, Grandfather, Uncle and friend, passed away quietly on Sunday, January 7 at Toledo's Franciscan Care Center. Frederick (Fred) had been fighting illness for a few months at the time of his passing. Fred was born in the Detroit, Michigan Area in 1932 and moved to the Southwest Grand Rapids area as a boy, when his father, Frederick Williams Sr., was transferred as a General Motors executive. He graduated from Grand Rapids Catholic Central High School and attended Aquinas College. Fred served a tour of duty in the Korean War as an interpreter and code breaker. After discharge, Fred returned to Grand Rapids, where he met and married Norma Jean Bernatowicz, also of Grand Rapids, on January 24, 1959. They raised their family in Kentwood, Michigan, as Fred helped build Duthler Ford and Duthler Sales into one of the most successful Auto Dealerships in the United States. Fred struck out on his own in 1972 with the building of the successful Fred Williams Ford in Caledonia, Michigan. He moved his family to the area and remained in business until 1981, when a severe recession caused many small car businesses in the Midwest and nationally to close. Fred returned to Duthler Ford as the President of Sales for all of their dealerships and continued to help the organization grow until he retired in 1997. Fred spent his entire life giving back to the Grand Rapids and Caledonia areas through involvement in raising funds for local sports/school groups, Catholic churches, and other needed improvements to benefit the people of the Grand Rapids area. He was instrumental in the fundraising and completion efforts for the first Ronald McDonald House in Grand Rapids, a pet project of his for several years. As a member of the Benevolent Order of Elks in Grand Rapids for several years, Fred was highly instrumental in putting Grand Rapids and the Elks Country Club on the map as a tour site on the Senior Player Tour and later the LPGA tour. Fred was an avid golfer,hunter and photographer. Fred is survived by his three children, Frederick E. Williams III, University of Toledo Dean; Robert Joseph Williams, Meijer Store Manager Cadillac, Michigan; and Cheryl Williams Fradette, Verizon National Account Management and Sales, Livonia, Michigan. He is also survived by his eight grandchildren, Veronica Fradette, Alexander Williams, Julia Fradette, Rachel Fradette, Nicholas Williams, Emily Fradette, Zachary Vanhof and Virginia Vanhof. He is also survived by several loved nephews, and nieces. Fred was proceeded in Death by his beloved wife Norma Jean and daughter Kathleen Marie, his sister Teresa and brothers Jack and Robert. A memorial mass will be held at St. Mary Magdalen Church, 1253 52nd St SE, on February 10 followed by a memorial open house immediately following. Details to be further announced. The family asks for donations in lieu of flowers to Autism Speaks in Fred's name. Fred will be remembered as a kind, humorous and friendly, person who was dedicated to his family and friends. He will also be fondly remembered as a strong and generous businessman who gave back to the communities he served. A neighbor for several years to Fred and his family, Richard Spiegel, said it best in the local paper when Fred closed his Caledonia Dealership in 1981. He wrote that more businessmen and people were needed like Fred Williams. There are few people who did not respect him in his life and few who can say that they have given back to the communities they served in a better manner.