It is with great sadness that I must report to the Strat-O-Matic Community the sudden death of former employee, James Williams, at age 71.
James, an employee of Strat-O-Matic for approximately 45 years, was a cornerstone, founding member of the Strat-O-Matic “family”. He was well liked and respected by company employees and customers alike. Customers knew him as the Strat-O-Matic football expert and the go-to-go guy for our basketball game. James joined the company in the late 1960’s beginning as a shipping clerk, eventually advancing to an executive position and most important, researching and updating our sports game line. Upon retirement, he continued in a consulting capacity regarding the basketball game.
Perhaps his most unusual Strat-O-Matic moment came at the 1981 “mock” Strat-O-Matic all star game which occurred during the famous 80 day players’ strike. James, representing Strat-O-Matic, dressed in an umpire’s uniform, officiated at Municipal Stadium in Cleveland, Ohio in which Strat-O-Matic Baseball replaced the canceled American-National League all star encounter.
James as an individual was a man of extraordinary qualities. He was brought up in modest circumstances in Anderson, South Carolina by his grandmother. His mother Pauline, a Strat-O-Matic employee, living in New York City, worked three jobs in order to provide him with a college education. James graduated from Johnson C. Smith and came to work at Strat-O-Matic in the late 1960’s. He was gracious, gentle (never uttered a curse word), calm, responsible, stable and disciplined. When problems occurred at Strat-O-Matic, his stability prevailed. James was unflappable. His integrity was impeccable.
Over the years, James and I became very close, almost like brothers. I shall miss James greatly. And for his family, his wife Emma, sons Kevin and Corey and grandchildren, the loss is catastrophic. The family has lost a loving man, a loyal man and a man who provided a good life for all.
We will never stop missing you James.
Hal Richman , CEO