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May 4, 2020

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Robert J. Williams, 71, of Wilkes-Barre, passed away on Monday, May 4 at the General Hospital in Wilkes-Barre.

Known to most as Bob, Bobby, or Will by his lifelong friends, he was born in Wilkes-Barre, the second son of the late Harold and Sara Thomas Williams. He graduated from GAR High School, a proud Grenadier, and worked as a nurse's aide and supply clerk at Valley Crest Nursing Home in Wilkes-Barre until his much-deserved retirement. He enjoyed hunting and fishing with his friends, brother Harold, and his dogs, listening to music, and watching a good movie often quoting lines as they played. He loved being out on the water in his boat fishing or just for a joyride. He was an avid sports enthusiast and would often be found watching games with his family and friends when he wasn’t in the woods. His family and friends meant the world to him and were certainly the reason he survived so long against all odds with severe heart disease. He would do anything to help another person- a lesson he strongly instilled in his daughters who will love and miss him always while keeping his memory alive. He will be missed by his faithful companion Winston and his kitties that all really loved their dad. The love he shared with his wife was legendary and they are certainly reunited after their short month apart after 46 and a half years of marriage. He was a strong survivor, but in the end, couldn’t survive a broken heart from the loss of his beloved wife.

Bob was a member of the First Welsh Presbyterian Church in the Heights, where he served as an elder, and was always proud of his Welsh heritage. When his lifelong church closed and merged, he was a member of the Wyoming Valley Presbyterian Church. Forever in support of his wife, daughters, and family, Bob was also a member of Temple Israel with a regular seat in the sanctuary with his family. Though he had heart problems, he truly had a heart of gold.

He is survived by his daughter, Sara Friedman and her husband, Steven of Plains; daughter Molly Williams and her longtime partner, Matthew Reisinger of Kingston; brothers: Harold Williams of Wilkes-Barre and Richard Williams of Sheatown; brothers-in-law: Attorney Sandor Yelen and his wife, Janice of Kingston; Attorney Barry Yelen of Kingston; cousins, nieces, nephews, great nieces, and great nephews.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his loving wife, Linda Yelen Williams one month prior to his passing, father and mother-in-law Morris and Mary Yelen who he cherished very much, sisters-in-law: Shirley Yelen and Mary Lou Williams.

A graveside funeral service will be held in the Temple Israel Cemetery, Swoyersville for the family this coming Sunday with Rabbi Larry Kaplan and Reverend Adam Demetros presiding. The service will be streamed on Temple Israel’s Facebook live and as a Zoom meeting for family and friends to participate if desired. Details to follow. Shiva calls (calls on condolence) may be made to 570-823-4327 beginning Monday. When isolation bans are lifted, a memorial service for Bob and Linda will be held jointly for their family and friends to celebrate their lives.

Donations in Bob’s honor may be made to the Wyoming Valley Presbyterian Church, Temple Israel, and the American Heart Association.


Arrangements by Rosenberg Funeral Chapel, 348 S. River Street, Wilkes-Barre 


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