Eugene F. Williams Jr., the former chief executive officer and chairman of the St. Louis Union Trust Company and a civic leader in St. Louis, died at his summer residence on Jones Road, East Hampton, on Aug. 7. He was 90.
The St. Louis native was born to Eugene F. Williams, a prominent banker, and the former Marie Wight, and attended St. Louis Country Day School, Phillips Academy in Andover, Mass., and Yale. When World War II broke out he left college to join the Army Air Corps, where he trained as a fighter pilot, returning to Yale after the war ended to finish his studies and graduate in 1947.
That same year, he began a 40-year career with the trust company, which provides private wealth management services to persons of means, and rose through its ranks. Chairman of the company’s board until his retirement in 1988, he also served on the boards of the Olin Corporation, American Airlines, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Emerson Electric, the Boatmen’s Trust Company, and the John M. Olin Foundation. Mr. Williams also headed the board of his family’s cattle ranch, Pitchfork Land and Cattle Company in Texas and Oklahoma.
His wife described him as a man of warmth, compassion, and humility whose civic contributions were many. In St. Louis, he was chairman of the board of St. Luke’s Hospital and a director of Blue Cross Blue Shield, the Country Day School, the St. Louis Municipal Opera, and St. Louis University, where he established a scholarship fund. He also endowed a chair in the teaching of market economics at the Yale University School of Management, and was actively involved in the founding of Washington University’s John M. Olin School of Business.
Mr. Williams is survived by his wife of 66 years, the former Evelyn Neidringhaus, and by five children. They are Rebecca de Kertanguy and Eugene Williams III, both of New York City; John Williams of Los Angeles, Evelyn McNiff of Plymouth Meeting, Pa., and Edward Williams of Ross, Calif. He also leaves two sisters, Georgie Lewis of Essex, Conn., and Marie von Gontard of Greenwich, Conn., as well as 15 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren.
A memorial service is planned in St. Louis in September. The family has suggested donations to the Today and Tomorrow Educational Foundation, 20 Archbishop May Drive, St. Louis, Mo. 63119.