RINGWOOD, N.J. — Rayner Williams, OFM, 88, a professed Franciscan friar for 64 years and a priest for 59, died Sept. 30 at Holy Name Friary.
A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated on Oct. 3 at St. Anthony Church in Butler, N.J. Provincial Minister Kevin Mullen, OFM, served as principal celebrant and homilist. Burial followed at Mount Calvary Cemetery in Butler.
Rayner was born on April 7, 1927 in Jessup, Pa., to Edward and Margaret Williams, and was baptized Edward. After graduating in 1944 from Blakely High School in Peckville, Pa., Rayner served in the United States Navy and then entered St. Joseph Seraphic Seminary, Callicoon, N.Y., in 1948.
He was received into the Order of Friars Minor in 1950 at St. Bonaventure Friary in Paterson, N.J., and professed first vows there the following year. After studying philosophy, Rayner received his bachelor’s degree in 1952 from St. Bonaventure University, Allegany, N.Y. He completed his theological studies in Washington, D.C., and professed final vows in 1954. He was ordained to the priesthood two years later in Washington.
Following ordination, Rayner continued his studies at Siena College in Loudonville, N.Y., earning a bachelor’s degree in economics in 1959. He taught accounting and economics there for the next two years before moving to South Bend, Ind., to earn a master’s in economics from the University of Notre Dame. After completing his degree in 1962, he returned to Siena, serving as professor, assistant dean of discipline, director of student personnel and treasurer, until 1970.
For the next 37 years, Rayner worked in Holy Name Province’s administrative offices in New York City. He was assistant secretary of the Province from 1970 to ’71), secretary to the Provincial Minister for the next nine years, and director of personnel and continuing education from 1980 to 82. After serving as provincial treasurer from 1982 to 1989, he worked in HNP’s Office of Development from 1989 to 2007, moving to St. Anthony Friary in Butler, N.J., when the office relocated to New Jersey. Rayner retired at St. Anthony Friary in 2007 and moved to Holy Name Friary in 2013.
Rayner is survived by nephews Joseph and John Crotti, both of Olyphant, Pa., and niece Carol Jones of Waymart, Pa.
Memorial donations may be sent to Franciscan Friars — Holy Name Province, 144 West 32nd St., New York, NY 10001-3202.
— Compiled by Maria Hayes and Carolyn Croke
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