MADISON - Anna Maria Williams, age 87, passed away on April 16, 2015, at the Sebring Assisted Care Residence in Madison. She is survived by her sister, Isabelle Williams, of Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
Born in Tampa, Fla., Anna Maria resided in Wisconsin for the last 65 years of her life. After earning her master's and doctorate degrees in bacteriology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, she did post-doctoral research as a Fulbright scholar at the Biophysics Laboratory of the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands. Additional post-doctoral research was pursued at the McCardle Laboratory for Cancer Research (UW-Madison) in cancer biochemistry. As an assistant professor in the Department of Medicine and Bacteriology, Anna Maria taught undergraduate and graduate courses in bacteriology and continued her study of cancer cell metabolism.
In 1968, Professor Williams was hired by the University of Wisconsin-Parkside to help establish the Life Science Discipline, subsequently the Biological Sciences Department, from which she retired in 1990. Recent greetings from former students who are now practicing in various medical professions, pay tribute to her teaching and to the high standards she set for them throughout their academic journey. Having played a major role in designing the pre-medical curriculum, Anna Maria was extremely proud of the high percentage rate of Parkside students accepted into medical and other professional schools around the country.
Among her many activities in retirement were the establishment of a nature trail at UW-Parkside, the initiation of the Doctors of Color (DOC) program for high school students in Racine, and ongoing involvement with the pre-college program at Parkside. Retirement also provided the time for Anna Maria to return to the musical activities of her childhood and teenage years, notably playing the piano and composing.
Deepest gratitude is expressed to all who cared for Anna Maria in the last few weeks of her life, including the staff at Sebring Care Residence and the representatives and volunteers from Agrace HospiceCare.
There will be no public viewing or formal memorial service.
Donations in Anna Maria's memory can be made to Agrace HospiceCare, Inc., 5395 E. Cheryl Parkway, Fitchburg, WI 53711 or to the Anna Maria Williams Endowed Scholarship, UW-Parkside Foundation, 900 Wood Road, P.O. Box 2000, Kenosha, WI 53141. Please share your memories at www.informedchoicefunerals.com.