Ruth S, Williams

Photo of Ruth S, Williams
Dr. Ruth S. Williams was born on April 22, 1956 in San Nicholas, Aruba and grew up in Morne Dudon, Castries, Saint Lucia. She lovingly called both Aruba and Saint Lucia home. A proud product of Christian education, she attended Castries Primary School, St. Lucia SDA Academy, Southern Caribbean University, Oakwood University (Summa Cum Laude), and Andrews University. Dr. Williams earned a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from the University of Minnesota specializing in learning and cognition, measurement, and child psychology. However, she unapologetically expressed that her most significant accomplishment was a degree that she did not earn: her B.A. degree (“Born Again” into the tangible, viable kingdom of God). An outspoken advocate for the downtrodden, oppressed and those without a voice, Dr. Williams was a passionate believer that “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere”. Dr. Williams spent more than three decades teaching Psychology and Statistics at the undergraduate and graduate level. She taught at the University of Minnesota, the University of St. Thomas (in St. Paul, Minn.) and at Adventist universities in Italy, Kenya, Hong Kong, and Ukraine. Dr. Williams spent more than 25 years at Southern Adventist University (in Collegedale, TN) where she was a Professor and director of Undergraduate Psychology Programs. Her passion for teaching was well recognized and she received several awards recognizing her art, heart, and skill in pedagogy. These included The Zapara Award for Excellence in Teaching (1994), the Excellence in Teaching and Outstanding Service Award (1995), The Student Mentor Award (1999), the Presidential Award for Teaching Excellence (2003), and the Presidential Award for Scholarship (2010). Her classes in research design and statistics were legendary for the level of preparation that students receive in applying scientific methods in the social sciences. Active and outspoken, Dr. Williams served the academic community in various capacities. She was a sought-out public speaker and teacher and regularly conducted seminars on child development, diversity, multicultural issues, and child abuse. She also preached in various churches in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, and Asia. Dr. Williams loved her family (immediate and extended) and considered them to be the “wind beneath her wings”. Her granddaughters Ayla and Elizabeth (“Elly”), husband Don, her children Hendri Morris, Raquel Amaral, Dr. Kahlilia (and Jonathan) Blanco, and Bernard Morris (“Junior”), were the foremost joys in her life. She is also survived by her siblings Hartley Grassie, Mervin (and Naula) Williams, Dr. Lena (and Dr. Lael) Caesar, and Dr. David (and Opal) Williams. She is preceded in death by her brother Samuel Williams and parents William and Zenobia Williams. Dr. Williams enjoyed meeting new people and making and keeping friends. She believed that there are fewer joys that supersede a good book, a good friend, and a good laugh! She was loved by many and an inspiration to countless students, colleagues, friends, and family. Visitation will be from 12 Noon - 1 p.m. on Sunday, December 18, 2022 at Collegedale Seventh-day Adventist Church (4829 College Drive E, Collegedale, TN 37415) followed by 1 p.m. Funeral Service. Burial will be at Collegedale Memorial Park Cemetery on Monday, December 19th at 10 a.m. Arrangements are by the Valley View Chapel of Chattanooga Funeral Home, Crematory & Florist. 7414 Old Lee Highway, Chattanooga, TN 37421. Memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at

Published December 11, 2022