Aquinas College extends our sincerest condolences to the family of Michael Ronan Williams, who passed away on June 29, 2024. Our hearts are with Mike’s wife Mary, his daughter and her husband, his three siblings and his two grandsons. Mike was a lifelong philosopher, a writer of books and essays, an advocate for justice and a dedicated volunteer.

Born in Detroit to David Wynn Williams and Florence Ronan, Mike enjoyed an idyllic childhood as the eldest of their children. In his sixty-plus years as a teacher, he touched the lives of preschool, middle school and high school students. He even co-founded and served as the administrator of Highland Community School in Milwaukee. 

He dedicated forty years to Aquinas College as a cross-disciplinary professor, Faculty Development Director and creator of the Community Leadership Program. After retiring, he volunteered at the campus Writing Center, finding joy in staying connected with young people. He was named Professor Emeritus and later inducted into the Aquinas College Hall of Fame.

He was an active volunteer and served as a board member of the Eastown Community Association, the Council of Neighborhood Associations and SEED, advocating for urban development and educational reform. He also served on the board of Planned Parenthood of West Michigan. 

Mike wrote three books on topics of neighborhood organizing, urban school reform and parent involvement. He also contributed essays to a book on Eastown, and he was revising a manuscript on Love in his final years.

Mike Williams leaves behind a legacy of profound intellectual contribution and unwavering dedication to education and community service. His impact at Aquinas College and beyond will be deeply cherished and remembered.

Writing Center Spring 2019