Dennis Lee Williams, 80, of Harker Heights passed away Saturday, September 24, 2022, in Waco.
Dennis was born in Alpine, Texas on November 6, 1941, to Fred O. and Ida Mae (Weyerts) Williams. He graduated as salutatorian from Alpine High School in 1960. While in high school he played football, played trumpet in the band, and was in the drama club. In 1958 he was in the play “Dino” which won the state UIL play contest that year. He was featured in Life Magazine for that role.
He attended Princeton University for 3 years and transferred to Texas Christian University in the fall of 1963 and was a member of the Fighting Frog Band. There he met the love of his life, Gretchen. After graduating in 1965 with a BA in English, he studied for his MA in English at Sul Ross and continued studying English for a doctorate at Texas Tech University.
Dennis married his loving wife of 56 years, Gretchen Muehlberg on July 23, 1966, in Lake Jackson, Texas. He began teaching English at Central Texas College in the fall of 1969. After retiring from the classroom after 33 years he taught online English grammar and English and American Literature. Dennis loved teaching English and was quite a wordsmith. He was MC for many fund raisers for KNCT TV. He and his wife took ballroom dance lessons and enjoyed dancing to live music at Stardust Dance Club.
Dennis overcame his fear of water and became a SCUBA diver in 1988 because Gretchen seemed to be having too much fun going on dive trips and he wanted to share in that fun.
He loved playing and watching baseball and spent many nights watching the Atlanta Braves and the Houston Astros play. A high school friend introduced him to the Basenji dog breed, and he always had one as a pet throughout his married life.
Dennis was very active in the Central Texas Theatre with the Vive Les Arts Society and was in the first play produced as one of the fathers in The Fantasticks. He heavily supported the theatre, working in the box office, modernizing much of the everyday tasks. As a young person he was in many plays in Alpine and he appeared in 100 dramas, comedies, and musicals at Vive Les Arts. He enjoyed watching plays on Broadway the few times he visited NYC.
He adored his son Paul and took great pride in his accomplishments as well as his grandchildren.
Dennis is survived by his loving wife, Gretchen Williams of Harker Heights; a son, Paul Williams and his wife Joanna Williams of Belton; a brother, Jerre Williams of Kerrville, Texas; two grandchildren, Zane A. Williams and Diana I. Williams; two nieces; two nephews and many friends.
Please join the family for a visitation on October 8 from 1:00 to 3:00 at Central Texas Theatre on W.S. Young Drive in Killeen, Texas. Dress casually in Purple/White for TCU. In lieu of flowers please make a donation to Central Texas Theatre or to a charity of your choice.