Edith Derby Williams

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Edith Roosevelt (Derby) Williams (June 17, 1917 – June 8, 2008) was a historian, conservationist, and granddaughter of the 26th President of the United States Theodore Roosevelt.

Williams was born in New York City to Dr. Richard Derby and Ethel Carow Roosevelt. Edith Roosevelt Derby was the second child of Dr. and Mrs. Derby and the eldest daughter. Former President Theodore Roosevelt was her grandfather. She was named for her grandmother Edith Roosevelt. Not unlike many members of her nationally prominent family, she took her civic responsibilities seriously. She was actively involved in Republican politics and addressed the 1960 Republican National Convention, seconding the nomination of Richard Nixon. Later she founded the Vashon Island Health Center. For forty years she was the Republican Committeewoman for the state of Washington. In 1975 Williams was named to the Board of Trustees for the University of Washington where she served until 1981. Mrs. Williams served on the Board of Trustees for the Theodore Roosevelt Association where she received the Rose Award in 2004 for her many years of service and dedication to the organization. Williams was also recognised for her work in behalf of conservation and promoting a healthier environment by reducing pollution.

In 1941 she married Andrew "Mike" Murray Williams (1916–1998). After World War II in 1946, the family moved to Washington State and settled in the Seattle area. The Williams had three children, Andrew Murray, Jr. (1942–2004), Richard Derby (born 1944) and Sarah Gilmore (born 1948). Bruce K. Chapman is her son-in-law.

At 90 years, 356 days, Williams died on June 8, 2008[1] after breaking her hip at her Vashon Island, Washington home. She lived more years than any of Theodore Roosevelt's grandchildren. Funeral services were held June 15 at the Church of the Holy Spirit-Episcopal, Vashon, and she was buried there at the churchyard.


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