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Brent J. Williams December 30, 1933 - May 27, 2020

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Brent John Williams

86, Fortified by the Sacraments of the Holy Mother Church, died peacefully on Wednesday, May 27, 2020 in St. Louis.

Attorney, Scholar, Teacher, and Mentor, Brent was born in Richmond Heights, MO, on December 30, 1933 to the late Ann Scully and Daniel Preston Williams, and raised in Clayton. He attended Little Flower, Our Lady of Lourdes, and St. Louis University High School before graduating from St. Louis University, where he received an A.B. and M.A. in History, and later from the University of Denver Law School, where he earned his J.D. A true lifelong learner with a wide range of interests, Brent pursued additional graduate coursework in tax and canon law, theology, Latin, and history at Washington University and The Catholic University. He received a Diplomé in French from Laval University in Quebec, and he won a National Endowment for the Humanities grant to study at Harvard University’s Dumbarton Oaks Institute in Washington, DC.

In 1955, Brent began his career at DeAndreis High School, teaching History, English, and Latin. Brent then became the first lay faculty member at the St. Louis Priory School, thus beginning a 65 year association with the St. Louis Abbey community, which named him a “Confrater” in 1978. Brent also taught at Parkway Central High School before beginning his legal studies.

A Member of the Missouri Bar since 1969, Brent worked for the St Louis Chamber of Commerce and the St. Louis County Public Defenders’ office before forming his own legal practices in St. Louis and Hillsboro, MO. Throughout his professional life, Brent combined the practice of law with teaching at the university and high school level. He was an adjunct professor at Webster University for 21 years, teaching Business Law, and he also taught at St. Louis University Law School and Chaminade College Prep. Beyond the classroom, Brent coached high school Mock Trial and Speech and Debate for more than 20 years. By all accounts, Brent was an excellent and memorable teacher whose mentorship efforts on behalf of his students extended long after their years together in the classroom.

Brent was preceded in death by his brother Daniel Preston “Danny” Williams, Jr. He is survived by his sisters Ann Williams Bugg (Henry D. “Dick”) and Joyce Williams Walsh (Thomas C.) of St. Louis, his nieces and nephews Michael D. Beugg (Linda) of Los Angeles, Margaret A. “Meg” Beugg of St. Louis, Brian C. Walsh (Nancy) of St. Louis, Timothy D. Walsh (Armena) of W. Hartford, CT, and Laura Walsh Maloney (Mike) of Lexington, KY; his great nieces and nephews Nicholas, Elizabeth, and William Beugg; Evan, Audrey, and Miles Walsh; Liam and Seda Walsh; and Alexa and Carter Smith; and his cousin John M. Williams (Mimi).

Though Brent had no children of his own, he was Uncle and Godfather to many, and he loved his adventures with them. Whether exploring “the farm” in Town and Country, holding forth on scholarly topics at 7300 Wydown and Maryland Ave, acting in the films of the late George Hickenlooper III, floating down the Mississippi on a barge, travelling to England and Ireland, or dancing at a Grateful Dead concert in California while dressed in his customary navy blue blazer and khaki pants, Uncle Brent made an unforgettable impression that will last several lifetimes.

Making friends in each new community he joined was a lifelong passion of Brent’s. Ever curious, he asked each person he encountered, ”Where did you go to school?,” offered some possible connection, and followed that quickly with an entertaining story. The number of his friends and contacts was staggering. Long before Facebook, Brent was a social network!

The family especially wishes to thank the entire staff at Bethesda Dilworth, where Brent resided (some would say “presided”) since 2011, and all his loyal friends and visitors, especially Richard Quick, MD, Mike McKee and the Rev. Ellen Hiatt, Fr. Gerard Garrigan, OSB, Deacon Gerald Quinn, Jean Monahan, William C. Stude, Judge Cory Picton, Wayne Beugg, Tayler, Karine, and Grayson Kent, Fr. Louis McCabe, SJ, and Fr. Paul Rourke, SJ. Brent greatly enjoyed the company of the Bethesda staff, his fellow residents, and all his family and friends.

Services: A Memorial Mass for Brent will be held at Our Lady of Lourdes Church in University City at a later date when societal circumstances allow. Entombment took place in the Mausoleum at Calvary Cemetery. Brent hoped that Masses would be offered and memorial contributions made to the Our Lady of Lourdes School Endowment Fund. Contributions to the scholarship funds of St. Louis University High School and the St. Louis Priory School are also welcomed. Please check back to this website for updated information.

If you would like to be in contact with Brent’s family, you may send a message to brentjwilliamsfamilystl@gmail.com.

Our Lady of Lourdes Parish
7144 Forsyth Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63105

St. Louis University High School
Attn: Advancement Office
4970 Oakland Avenue
St. Louis, Missouri 63110

St. Louis Priory School
Attn: Advancement Office
500 South Mason Road
St. Louis, MO 63141

A Memorial Mass for Brent will be held at Our Lady of Lourdes Church in University City at a later date when societal circumstances allow. Entombment took place in the Mausoleum at Calvary Cemetery. Please check back to this website for updated information.


  1. REPLY
    Joe Hanon says

    My friendship with Brent spans 64 years, and began at St Louis Priory where as a postulant
    I met Brent in 1957. Our friendship lasted over the years. The last two or three years
    our visits waned, what with my ageing and covid.
    Nevertheless, our friendship never waned, and the last time I visited Brent we luinched together at Bethesda. Only when I phoned Brent in late May did I learn of his death.
    May he rest in peace.

  2. REPLY
    Barbara Ann Barbato says

    A Sister of Loretto and was, many years, a member of Webster College/University History faculty , I have fond memories of Brent, He was everything his obituary indicates – and a truly good person, gentle and understanding – one whose image and influence is part of my cherished memories. May he rest in peace and may those who love him be comforted.

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