David Arthur Williams

April 6, 1943 ~ June 13, 2020 (age 77)


David Arthur Williams departed this world on June 13, 2020, due to complications from a stroke. He was seventy-seven years old.

Our dear David was born in New York City on April 6, 1943. From humble beginnings, he made a life for himself through a deep and abiding love of learning. Always a voracious reader and cunning wordsmith, his grit and perseverance led him from the streets of Harlem to the halls of New York University, where he met the love of his life.

Anne and David were married on May 2, 1964 and they remained so for fifty-six beautiful years.

All will remember David’s many notable contributions to the growth of American Judo, a martial art which he studied and practiced for over forty years. He rose to the rank of Black Belt (third degree) with a long record of success as a competitor and technician. He would eventually move to the side of the mat to become a well-respected match official. Through spirit and dedication, he ascended to the level of IJF B Continental Referee, an international accreditation.

It was on his path through the world of Judo that he taught, trained, and mentored both athletes and referees challenging each and every one to reach their full potential both on the mat and off. For so many, he came to embody the word Sensei. Quick-witted and unwavering, his warmth and inner strength will reverberate through all who knew him.

David is survived by his wife and life partner, Anne Adela (née Duran), his sons, Christopher David and Marc Gerald, his three grandchildren, Maribel, Jordan, and Alexander, his daughters-in-law Mary and Josefina, his students and colleagues at Oishi Dojo, and a universe of friends who were treated like family.

Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared by clicking the “Guestbook” link.

Click here to view a webcast of the service on 6/19/2020 at 12:00 PM, Eastern Standard Time.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of David Arthur Williams, please visit our floral store.


Memorial Service
June 19, 2020

12:00 PM
Lakeland Funeral Home
2125 South Bartow Hwy
Lakeland, FL 33801

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