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Past Pinellas prosecutor dies at 69

Alan R. Williams was the last person to hold the office before it was folded into the State Attorney's Office.

By CRAIG BASSE, Times Obituaries Editor
© St. Petersburg Times
published May 10, 2002

ST. PETERSBURG -- Alan R. Williams, Pinellas County's last prosecutor, who lobbied to abolish his own job, has died at 69.

Mr. Williams, who served a four-year term as prosecutor in the mid 1960s, died Monday (May 6, 2002) at Bayfront Medical Center.

He had emphysema, his wife said Thursday, and died of pneumonia.

An associate municipal judge and prosecutor for the city of Treasure Island, Mr. Williams was elected county prosecutor in 1964.

Four years later, his office was due to be absorbed by the Pinellas-Pasco State Attorney's Office, and he challenged the incumbent, Clair A. Davis, in the Republican primary.

Davis, who had held the office for 15 years, defeated his 35-year-old opponent for a fifth term. The following year Davis died at 70, and James T. Russell was named by Gov. Claude Kirk to succeed him.

Leading up to the election, Mr. Williams urged abolition of the prosecutor's office, which handled misdemeanor cases, and its merger into the State Attorney's Office. He called its work an unnecessary duplication, and he successfully lobbied the Legislature to pass a bill merging the offices.

After the election, he returned to a private law practice, Alan R. Williams & Associates, which will continue, his wife said.

Born in Chicago, Mr. Williams came here from LaPorte, Ind. He was a first lieutenant in the Air Force and a captain in the Air Force Reserve.

He was a member of the Florida Bar, the St. Petersburg Bar Association, the Indiana Bar and the American Bar Association. He was past president of the Holiday Isles Jaycees.

Survivors include his wife of 20 years, Beatriz H.; a son, Steven; and two brothers, Dean, Delray Beach, and Glen, St. Petersburg.

A memorial Mass will be at 2 p.m. today at Blessed Trinity Catholic Church, 1600 54th Ave. S. The family suggests memorial contributions to Hospice Foundation of the Florida Suncoast, 300 East Bay Drive, Largo, FL 33770. ALifeTribute FuneralCare is in charge.

-- Information from Times files was used in this obituary.

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