Steve Williams

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Alexander Stephens Williams III (born September 24, 1936, in Eufaula, Barbour County; died October 2, 2020 in Birmingham) was an executive for the Protective Life Corporation and a notable collector of historical books and documents.

Williams was the son of A. S. Williams Jr and the former Sara Dozier Stewart. He graduated from Eufaula High School and earned the Eagle rank in Boy Scouts. He completed a bachelor's degree in finance at the University of Alabama in 1958 and married the former Rosemary Hoover on September 19 of that year. The couple raised three children; Betsy, Steve and Jim.

Williams began his career at First National Bank of Birmingham in 1959, and earned a law degree at the Birmingham School of Law in 1964, after which he joined Protective Life. He remained there until his retirement in 2004 as treasurer and executive vice president of investments. He served a a member of the board of governors and the executive committee of the Mortgage Bankers Association of America, as chairman and director of the Life Mortgage and Real Estate Officers Council, and as president of the Birmingham Mortgage Bankers Association. He was also an executive and director of the Morris Avenue Commercial Restoration Association, a director of the Shades Creek Parkway Association, and a member of numerous other professional associations. He served on the boards of the Birmingham Area Alliance of Business, the Alabama Small Business Investment Company,

After a visit to Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia, Williams began pursuing a passion for collecting historical books and documents bearing the signatures of presidents, governors and other notables. As the collection grew it came to include large numbers of unpublished letters and diaries, rare works of Southern fiction, and a major collection of early photographs. To house the growing collection, he founded the Eufaula Athenaeum in his home town, where curator Stephen Rowe undertook preservation and exhibition work. In 2010 the Athenaeum's holdings were acquired by the University of Alabama and held as the "A. S. Williams III Americana Collection" at the Gorgas Library. Williams continued to collect and has made arrangements for a larger group of materials to be turned over to the University in 2021.

Williams was a deacon and taught Sunday School at South Highland Presbyterian Church, served as president and chair of the Alabama Symphony Association, and chaired the board of trustees of the Emmet O'Neal Library and Partners in Neighborhood Growth. He was a trustee of the Alabama Humanities Foundation, the Alabama School of Fine Arts Foundation, the Birmingham Historical Society, the Alabama Heritage Foundation, and the Vulcan District of the Boy Scouts of America. He was also active in United Way of Central Alabama, the Birmingham Kiwanis Club, the Jefferson County Community Chest, and Leadership Birmingham.

Williams died in 2020. He was survived by his wife and three children, along with five grandchildren.

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