Passionate about women’s equality
Sharon Hegarty Williams, 80, of East Greenwich, died Friday, Dec. 15, after a long illness. Born in Washington, D.C., she spent her childhood in Lansdale, Pa. Deeply committed to family, Sharon raised two daughters in Radnor, Pa., and lived alongside her granddaughters in both Wellesley, Mass., and East Greenwich. She also spent many happy years in Venice, Fla., with dear friends.
Sharon graduated from Cornell University magna cum laude in Sociology, captained the women’s sailing team, and was a passionate alumna, serving as President of the Cornell Alumni Association. Passionate about women’s equality, Sharon proudly resisted societal pressure to stop her career after having children. She worked for decades in consumer products market research, including as Vice President at Taylor Nelson Sofres and at Chilton (part of Capital Cities/ABC), until her declining health led to her retirement in 2000. She was proud of her work and family, and strongly encouraged her two daughters and five granddaughters to “be anything they wanted to be.”
Puzzles held a special place in Sharon’s heart. She loved them… all kinds from murder mysteries to wordle, and always had a jigsaw puzzle in process. She enjoyed needle craft and making jewelry. She loved animals (especially giraffes and horses), enjoyed the company of many beloved cats and dogs throughout her life, and spent hours birdwatching. Sharon loved to travel and fondly remembered the many trips she took with her family.
Sharon is survived by her two daughters Kristin (and Stephen) Mugford of Cambridge, Mass., and Kate Williams (and Ashwin Sarma) of East Greenwich; and her five granddaughters, Kiely, Lyndsey, and Phoebe Mugford, and Priya and Leela Sarma. She is also survived by her ex-husband James W. Williams, IV, her sister and brother-in-law Karen and David Holloway, her niece Kari Holloway Hogan, and her beloved cat Emily.
Funeral services will be held privately with immediate family.
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