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Local Man Dies On Cruise Ship


A father and son’s vacation ended tragically this week for a well known local family.

The family of Richard Williams, 39, learned early Tuesday that he died while aboard a cruise ship on Monday.

Williams had taken his kindergarten age son, Tayton, on a Disney cruise to the Cayman Islands, and when he began to feel ill on the boat, he reportedly asked the daycare center on the ship to take care of his son while he went to his cabin to rest. When Williams did not return to pick up the child, ship officials went to his cabin and found him dead. The cause of death has not been determined, but Williams was known to have some health problems, including asthma. He lived in Dexter and was self-employed.

According to family members, crew members on the ship took charge of Williams’ son, and he is to be flown back to St. Louis where he will be reunited with family members.

The only sibling of Richard Williams is his brother, Roy Williams, who owns and operates Fiddler’s Restaurant in Dexter. The restaurant was closed on Tuesday.

The parents of Richard Williams are the late Marilyn Williams and Rick Williams. Marilyn Williams served the 159th District as State Representative from 1991 until 2000. She died in 2009 at the age of 55 following a two-year battle with melanoma. Marilyn and Rick Williams opened Fiddler’s restaurant in the 1980s.

In October 2013, Rick Williams died suddenly at the age of 60. Just over two months ago, Kerri Stearnes, the mother of Williams’ young son, died at the age of 36.

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