Obituary: Robert “Bob” Williamson


Great-grandfather, longtime Claremont Graduate University professor, volunteer

Bob Williamson, a longtime Claremont resident, died peacefully at home on January 26, at the age of 85. He was named for his father, retired Lt. Colonel Robert E. Williamson Sr., who died in 1982.  His mother was Andrée Paule Viguier, from Albi, France, and she died in 1973.

After appointments at Yale University in Connecticut, Warwick University in England, and the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, Bob arrived in Claremont in 1969 with his first wife Diana and his three children in the midst of a turbulent time; the Claremont Colleges were experiencing political protests and violence, and one of the wettest winters in history. He was professor of mathematics at Claremont Graduate University until his retirement. While there he pioneered the Financial Engineering Program, and he was beloved by his students and respected by his peers.

Later, in 1985, he and his wife Marie, believing themselves to be “fairly handy,” decided to find an old Claremont house in the Village area to restore. In 1985 they moved in to the 1890 Lee House, and a 30-year long restoration ensued with many “old house” challenges and adventures (some nesting opossums didn’t want to leave). His good humor and hard work never waned, and his home was filled with the joy of friends and family.

In 2004 he joined Claremont’s C.E.R.T. program. Along with his C.E.R.T. partner and friend Ted Wooton, he was active with its equipment readiness team, working closely with the Claremont Police Department to maintain the city’s emergency equipment.

He is survived by his wife Marie; children Brian Allen Williamson, David Montgomery Williamson, and Joan Martha Sheriff; grandchildren Heather Jacobs, Jasper Daly-Williamson, Alex Daly-Williamson, and Emma Williamson; and great-granddaughter Dylan Jacobs.


Submit a Comment

Share This