Harold O. "Hal" Williams
Writer, Master Journalism Teacher,
Yearbook Advisor, & Community Servant
Brigham Young High School
Faculty 1964 ~ 1968

Harold O.
Master Journalism Teacher at BYH

Harold O. Williams was born February 6, 1930 in Mesa, Arizona, the son of Claude O. Williams and Thelma Hatch Williams. Upon high school graduation in Mesa, Arizona, he attended Arizona State University.

Williams served in the US Air Force during the Korean War, and retired from the Air Force Reserve as a Major after 20 years of active and reserve service.

At BYU he received his BA Journalism in 1951, and his MA in Communications in 1960.

Williams served as Copy Editor on the Daily Universe, and President of Omega Nu, Honorary Journalism Fraternity. He served on the BYU Legislative Council. In 1951 he was one of BYU's all-time great cheerleaders. He was known as "Yell King" and went by the name "Hank Williams."

He married Doremis "Dee" Sumpter on November 18, 1930 in Provo, Utah. Their marriage was later solemnized in the Manti Temple on July 8, 1951.

After receiving BA and MA degrees from BYU, fourteen years of his life were devoted to teaching English, Journalism and Photography at two California high schools: Rosemead and Santa Barbara, and then Brigham Young University High School in Utah.

BYH Custodian Fedor Lysenko "helps" Hal Williams out of the doorway after a late-night 1965 Wildcat yearbook session on the fourth floor of the Education Building.

This scene was probably repeated many times in connection with Williams' role as faculty advisor to the BYH student newspaper: the Y'ld Cat, the Latter-Day Sun, and the Brigadier.
BYU Custodian Fedor Lysenko and Hal Williams, 1965

From 1956 to 1961, Hal Williams had served as President of the Journalism Educators Association of Southern California.

The Brigadier newspaper that he supervised at BYH received the NSPA All American High School Newspaper Rating in 1965-1966, the first time the BY High newspaper had ever been ranked as All-American.

Still teaching at BY High in 1968 when the school was closed, Hal Williams was recruited by the Public Relations Department at BYU. Among his many duties, he edited the publication BYU Today. He was a contributing writer to the LDS Church News up until 1991. After 20 years of remarkable service at BYU he retired in 1988. He was a member of the LDS Church and served in innumerable church positions.

Hal Williams was an outstanding teacher, a great writer, a warm friend, and was exemplary in performing needed community service. He served as Chairman of the Board and public information representative of the Utah County Cancer Society for many years.

He also served as a member of the Utah Valley Community College Public Relations Committee, and also served on the UVCC Foundation Board.

Hal and his wife Dee had two sons and three daughters: Debra Williams (Roy)Greaff, Salt Lake City, Utah; Kristin Williams (Phil) Greenland, Orem; Chris Williams (Shelby) Killpack, Orem; Brad Williams and wife Lori, Delta; and Todd Williams [BYH Class of 1974] and his wife Tammy, Orem.

Harold Orval (Hal O.) Williams died on May 31, 1993, at the age of 63, at his home in Orem, Utah, of cancer.

He had a special love of the Native American people. In 1965 he was honored with the Spencer W. Kimball Memorial Award. At the time of his death in 1993, he was serving on the Board of Directors of the American Indian Services.

Hal Williams, journalism teacher at BYH
Williams teaches editing to journalism class.

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