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Williams was born in Durham and went to Durham High School. He then attended UVA graduating in 1955 with a BS in Architecture. He was in the Army from 1956-58. He did graduate work at Duke in 1958 then got married, then worked for Marion Hamm where he had interned previously. Rising to partner, Williams designed East End Elementary, Henderson Towers, and the original Hollow Rock Racket and Swim Club, among other projects.

After Hamm died, after a time the firm merged into Hackney and Knott, which was literally across the street. Williams eventually became a partner there but left in the 1980's to practice solo as R. Wade Williams Jr,. AIA. He retired in the late 1990's.

1960 - The Richard W. (Wade) and Mary Gunter Williams, Jr., House, 4707 Whitfield Road, Durham. Located in Orange County. As of 2013, still owned by the Williams.

1966 - The Paul P. Proud House, 4806 Timberly Drive, Durham. There is a second story addition added in the 1980's. The first floor is the original footprint with an open floor plan. Sold by Paul P. Proud Estate in 2000 Eric and Frances M. Carter. Sold in 2012 to Edward C. Ray and Laura DelleDonne. Sold in 2015 to Helen S. Fuller. Sold in 2019 to Cynthia K. Feltner and Logan G. Graddy.

1968 - The Harvey Dalton Gunter, Jr. House, 4719 Whitfield Road, Durham, Mary Williams' brother. Located in Orange County. Sold in 2004 to Nicholas and Theresa Leonardy. As of 2012, a rental house.  Sold in 2016 to Ann J. and Roger G. Brooks.

1983 - The Robert Senior House, 4607 Whitfield Road, Durham. Located in Orange County. Sold to Suzanne Koenigsberg, who put in a 1998 addition designed by Dail Dixon. Occupied by Laura (Williams' daughter) and Brian Grunert.

Sources include: Wade and Mary Williams, Dail Dixon, and Dick Bell.