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Evelyn Williams

NORTH CANAAN — Evelyn Williams, 93, formerly of Roxbury, Connecticut, died in her sleep early Sunday, May 7, 2023, at Geer Village Lodge. Evelyn was born Evelyn Virginia Atkinson on Sept. 13, 1929, in Haledon, New Jersey, the first child of Edward and Evelyn Atkinson. She grew up in Hawthorne, New Jersey, where she often roller-skated to the deli for a dill pickle (5 cents) and, in high school, spent lunch times dancing non-stop to the music coming out of the juke box at the drug store soda fountain.

Evelyn graduated from New Jersey College for Women in New Brunswick, New Jersey, and married Frederick Picton, who graduated from Rutgers and went to work on Wall Street. They settled in Watchung, New Jersey, and had four children: James, Mark, David, and Glynis. The local minister said to the family later that when he visited Fred in the waiting room at the hospital while Evelyn was giving birth to their fourth child, Glynis, Fred said, “Jesus, Reverend, I hope this one is a girl, because my wife doesn’t give up easily!” But Fred died young, at 43, leaving a 40-year-old widow with four children to raise. In 1972, Evelyn married Robert Williams, a manager at Bell Labs in Holmdel, New Jersey, bringing three more children to the family. The youngest, Andy, predeceased Bob. Lori lives in Phoenix, Arizona, and Scott, the oldest, lives in Sheridan, Wyoming.

When Bob retired, he and Evelyn built a home in Roxbury and started the Christmas tree farm they called Clover Knoll. The cut-your-own farm was open to the public, and everybody in the extended family was employed there each year from Thanksgiving to Christmas, from the youngest to the oldest, which was Evelyn and Bob’s real reason for operating the business. Evelyn also pursued her many other interests, among them making and wearing remarkable clothes, knitting whole couches as well as fine sweaters, acting in the local theater company, square and swing dancing with Bob, cooking, and drumming. After Bob died in 2002, Evelyn scaled back and concentrated on loving and caring for her growing family which, at the time of her death, included her four grown children, seven grandchildren, and ten great-grandchildren, spread from Maine to Virginia and west to Alaska, as well as Bob’s two grown children, one grandchild, and one great-grandchild.

A memorial celebration will be held Saturday, June 10 at 11:00 a. m. at the First Church on the green in Washington, CT. Memorial contributions may be made to the Housatonic Valley Association, PO Box 28, Cornwall Bridge, CT 06754 or online at hvatoday.org .

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