Pinellas County School Board member Lew Williams died Saturday, just days after undergoing heart surgery.
On Sunday, the district released a statement: “It is with great sadness that Pinellas County Schools announces the passing of School Board Member Lew Williams. Williams had undergone heart surgery late last week … our heartfelt sympathy goes to his family, friends and colleagues.”
Pinellas Schools Superintendent John Stewart said, "Lew's sweet spirit will be sorely missed, as will his love of young people and the passion he had for their well-being and learning."
Williams, 68, was elected to the school board in November 2010 for District 7. He is a well-known community supporter and former Pinellas County school administrator, according to a news release.
A public viewing will be held from 3-5 p.m. Friday at Lawson Funeral Home, 4535 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. A wake will be held from 7-8 p.m. Friday at Bethel Community Baptist Church, 2901 54th Ave. S, St. Petersburg. Funeral services will begin at 1 p.m. Saturday at First Baptist Institutional Church, 3100 3rd Ave. S, St. Petersburg.
Williams is survived by his wife, Arthurene, and his two children.
According to the St. Petersburg Times, there is no specific timetable for filling Williams’ seat:
“Gov. Rick Scott's office said he will appoint a replacement. There is no timetable for him to do that, but a Scott spokesperson said Monday that people can start applying now. During next year's regular election cycle, voters will then decide who will fill out the remainder of the term, which ends in 2014.”
According to the district, Williams began his career in education in 1970 as a social studies teacher. He served as principal at Fairmont Park, South Ward and Dunedin elementary schools, and Seminole Middle and Pinellas Park High schools.
In 1987, he became director of school operations and was later promoted to associate superintendent for pupil assignment and area II superintendent until his retirement in 2005, according to a district news release.