- The Washington Times - Monday, June 19, 2006

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Nancy Williams Gram, former Michigan first lady, died June 19 in Savannah, Ga. She was 91.

Family friend Tom Farrell confirmed her death after being told about it by Mrs. Gram’s son, G. Mennen “Gery” Williams Jr.

Mrs. Gram, who was married to G. Mennen “Soapy” Williams when he served as governor from 1949 to 1960, had been ill for several months.

Mrs. Gram was born Nancy Quirk on June 12, 1915, in Ypsilanti.

She met Mr. Williams while she was studying social work for her undergraduate degree and he was attending law school at the University of Michigan. They married in 1937.

Mr. Williams, who helped revitalize the Democratic Party in Michigan, won the 1948 gubernatorial nomination. He went on to serve as governor, five years in the early 1960s as U.S. assistant secretary of state for African affairs, and two terms on the Michigan Supreme Court from 1971 to 1986. He died in 1988.

The following year, Nancy Williams married H. James Gram, a longtime family friend from Grosse Pointe Farms. He died in 2004.

She was active on several boards in Michigan and in Washington.

She donated much of the Asian porcelains, African art and antiques that she collected to museums.

She is survived by her son, of Savannah, Ga.; daughters Nancy Ketterer of Waban, Mass., and Wendy Stock Williams of Grosse Pointe Farms; eight grandchildren; 11 great-grandchildren; and five stepdaughters: Margaret King of New York, Tina Gram of Sommerville, Mass., Betsy Calcutt of Traverse City, Marion Laughlin of Ann Arbor and Carol Davis of Owings Mills, Md.

Mrs. Gram will be buried at the Protestant Cemetery on Mackinac Island, where Mr. Williams is buried. A date for graveside services had not been set.


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