Peter Williams, a longtime and highly respected College of Natural Sciences faculty member and administrator credited for his decades of leadership and dedication to the university, passed away on June 24 following a heart attack.
A memorial service is scheduled for 3 p.m. July 15 at Water of Life Community Church’s chapel, located at 7625 East Ave., Fontana.
Williams had been serving the College of Arts and Letters, both as interim associate dean and, most recently, as senior dean’s fellow for scheduling and enrollment. But the bulk of his time at Cal State San Bernardino was spent serving as a lecturer, professor and chair for the College of Natural Sciences Department of Mathematics and as associate dean and interim dean for that college. As interim dean, Williams provided leadership to the college prior to Sastry G. Pantula being named dean in 2018.
“Peter was a wonderful man who cared always about what is the best for CSUSB and put other people ahead of him,” said Pantula. “He led our math department for about 15 years and led our college both as an associate dean and an interim dean. He was always humble and had a good Scottish sense of humor.”
As news of Williams’s passing circulated, many College of Natural Sciences staff, faculty and others fondly recalled many pleasant memories and his contributions to the college.
“On a personal note, he was very informative, influential and inspirational to me and was an excellent sounding board for me,” Pantula said. “I will miss him very much, and I will remember him fondly with gratitude.”
In a message to university faculty and staff, Provost Shari McMahan described Williams’s passing as “a loss to the entire CSUSB family and all those who knew and worked with him. He was fondly admired for his meticulous analytical skills, his insightful comments, calm and abiding demeanor, wit, and dry sense of humor.” She credited his mentorship of chairs and his leadership skills in overseeing three major renovation projects, among other accomplishments.
Williams first joined the university in 1983 as a lecturer in the Department of Mathematics. He became a professor in 1993, and later served as chair of the department for approximately 15 years.
“Peter was a friend to so many of us in the mathematics department, and we were shocked and deeply saddened by the news of his passing,” said Madeleine Jetter, who serves as chair and professor in that department. “I’m just one in a generation of mathematics faculty that was shaped by his mentorship. He would do anything to ensure that new faculty had the opportunity to succeed, even during times of hardship. We will miss his steady presence, his sage advice, and his dry sense of humor.”
Williams earned his Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, where he also received his bachelor of science degree in pure and applied mathematics, according to his LinkedIn profile. He enjoyed spending time with his family and in participating in activities such as AYSO, fishing and hiking.
Condolences can be sent directly to Williams’ wife, Ximena Williams, via her email, firstname.lastname@example.org, or by mail at 15194 Portico Lane, Fontana 92366.