Memorial service set for Community Foundation of Greater New Britain's Jim Williamson

Published on Tuesday, 18 December 2018 21:12
Written by Karla Santos


NEW BRITAIN - The public is invited to a memorial service to honor Jim Williamson, longtime president of the Community Foundation of Greater New Britain, who died last month.

The service is scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 22, at Calkvary Church, 1844 Albany Ave., West Hartford. There will be a light lunch and reception following the service.

Williamson died on Nov. 1 at the Hospital of Central Connecticut’s New Britain General Campus. Soon after Williamson’s death, his wife, Vickie, told The Herald that his body was going to be cremated and that his memorial service was going to be delayed to a date closer to Christmas.

Charles Leach, a former board member of the foundation, reflected in writing on Williamson’s service to local residents and the foundation. He worte that that Williamson left a legacy of leadership to Greater New Britain.

Williamson joined the CFGNB after moving from New York, where he was born, to Southington in 2005. Williamson retired in August 2017 after serving as the president of the foundation for 13 years. He had been diagnosed with Stage 3 lung cancer in June 2016.

“Our Community Foundation – and our community – are in a much better place thanks to having had Jim at the helm,” Leach wrote in his reflection.

It’s because of that legacy that, just weeks after his death, the Community Foundation of Greater New Britain, created the James G. Williamson Education Assistance Fund. The foundation dedicated $10,000 in foundation resources to the initiative.

Board Chairwoman Lynn Ricci said that the fund helps to honor Williamson’s work on behalf of the community.

“Through his work at the Community Foundation of Greater New Britain, he touched the lives of thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands with his leadership of the programs at the roundation,” Gerry Amodio, Downtown District executive director, said. “I’ve often thought about how I would describe him, and maybe it’s best explained simply in that Jim was a very decent guy. I will miss him always.”

According to Leach, Williamson’s leadership helped the CFGNB accumulate a large endowment.

“Today’s Community Foundation of Greater New Britain has a larger endowment (more than $45 million) and more funds (more than 190) than might ever have been dreamed of prior to Jim’s arrival,” Leach wrote. “It is more effective than ever in fundraising and is a recognized leader in the communities it serves. It is a respected collaborator, bringing together diverse partners in the interest of bettering our communities. And at the state level, the Foundation is recognized as one of the leaders in the Connecticut community foundation arena.”

If you go:

What: Jim Williamson’s Memorial Service

When: Saturday Dec. 22, 2018

Time: 10 a.m.

Where: Calvary Church, 1855 Albany Avenue, West Hartford.

Karla Santos can be reached at 860-801-5079 or

Posted in New Britain Herald, New Britain on Tuesday, 18 December 2018 21:12. Updated: Tuesday, 18 December 2018 21:14.