Bret Williams, M.D., loving father, husband, and physician who dedicated his life’s work to improving the lives of under served patients throughout the world, died at age 55.

Dr. Williams is survived by his wife, Julie Blue Williams of Efland; a daughter, Kaitlin Blue Williams of Bynum, N.C.; sons, Christopher Williams of Durham and Brian Williams of Charlotte, and Brian Layh of Wake Forest; his mother, Joan Williams and stepfather, Robert Simpson of Lawrence, Kan.; and brothers, Lance Williams of San Francisco, Todd and Sean Williams of Lawrence, Kan. He was preceded in death by his father, Skipper Williams.

During the latter part of his life, Dr. Williams worked diligently as a supporter and activist with the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation (M.A.R.F.). He founded the M.A.R.F. patient-physician alliance and was active in lobbying the Senate to block the growing importation of still legal asbestos, the leading cause of malignant mesothelioma.

Prior to his work with M.A.R.F., Dr. Williams stayed true to his life’s passion reaching out to those who are medically under served. He took his skills to East Africa, where he worked in Tanzania and Kenya. Following this, he and his family went to Bolivia, where he volunteered at a medical clinic in the Andes Mountains, providing care to the Aymara Indians. Coming back to the United States, Dr. Williams and his family moved to Daufuskie Island, S.C., where he started the Daufuskie Island Clinic and served as the medical director. Dr. Williams also served for five years as the medical director for the volunteers in the Medicine Clinic of Hilton Head, S.C. a model free clinic for the working poor. He often mentioned that the many years he spent as a country doctor in Caswell County, N.C., were his most fulfilling.

Dr. Williams was born on July 19, 1951, in Lawrence, Kan. He is a graduate of the University of Kansas and the University of Kansas School of Medicine. Dr. Williams completed his internship, residence and fellowships at Duke University Medical Center. He earned an M.P.H from the University of North Carolina School of Public Health, Maternal and Child Health.
Dr. Williams service will be held Friday, May 18, 2007 at 11 a.m. at Cedar Grove United Methodist Church, Efland-Cedar Grove Road, Cedar Grove, North Carolina.

In lieu of flowers, the family respectfully requests that contributions be made to his respected Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation, (877) 363-6376 or

Arrangements are by McClure Funeral Service of Mebane, N.C.

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