Bo went to be with the Lord peacefully at his home June 15, 2023 surrounded by his family at the age of 93. He was preceded in death by his wife of 65 years, Sarah “Sally” Love Paul. Bo was known as a gentleman in every sense of the word and exemplified this to his family and friends on a daily basis.
Bo was born in Madison, FL, on September 19, 1929 to Alice Cantey Williams and Reuben Sharp Williams, Jr. He lived in Madison with his family, and he attended Madison High School. After high school, he went to the University of Florida where he pledged Kappa Alpha Fraternity. After two years of college, Bo was drafted into the U. S. Army where he served for two years and continued to serve in the reserves for over 25 years and retired as a Lieutenant Colonel. He then returned to the University of Florida and graduated with a B.S. degree in Soil Chemistry in 1954. In 1955, Bo and Sally were married in Madison where they lived until 1958 when they moved to Ocala where he was in the fertilizer business. In 1967 he entered the car business with Rupert Caviness and he later became the sole owner of Bo Williams Buick.
During his college years, he was introduced to the game of golf which would become a life-long passion of his. He was also an avid hunter, fisherman, and loved all Gator sports. He was a Gator Booster for many years, and he later endowed a golf scholarship at the university. He was a founding sponsor of First Tee in Ocala, FL, and a member of First Presbyterian Church.
Other than his family, Bo’s true love was the game of golf. He and Sally traveled all over the United States, Canada, and Europe playing golf. Not only was Bo known for his calm demeanor and sportsmanship on and off the course, but he was also a champion. Golf Digest named him as one of the top senior amateur golfers, and he was inducted into the prestigious Florida State Golf Association Hall of Fame in 2005. He won the USGA Senior Amateur in 1986 and 1989 and qualified for 7 others in addition to qualifying for 3 US Amateur tournaments and 7 US Senior Open tournaments. He was a 3-time Florida State Senior Champion (1986, 1987, 1990) and 4-time Senior Four-Ball Champion (1986, 1988, 1991, and 1992). He also won 4 Henry Camp tournaments, 11 Doug Oswald Tournaments, 1 Marion Masters, 7 city championships, 5 Golden Hills Championships, 1 Pebble Beach Tournament, 3 Florida State Senior Championships, 2 Pine Valley Senior Championships, and placed 2nd in the Canadian Senior Amateur, and 2nd place in the British Senior Amateur. Bo also won numerous other tournaments around the United States.
Bo was preceded in death by his wife, Sally, in 2020, and his sister Sara “Bess” Maxwell in 2020. He is survived by his brother, Francis (Kay), and his sons, Ben (Anna) and Alex, and his daughter Margaret McMichael; grandchildren, Ashley Williams, Ryan Williams (Gwen), Paul Williams (Emily), Bo Williams (Mary Grace), Abby Goldsmith (Matt), John McMichael (Jordan), Ander McMichael (Amber); and great-grandchildren Bowen and Collins Williams, Harper and Grady Goldsmith, Amelia McMichael, and Jack Williams.
A service will be held Friday, June 30th at 4:00 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church in Ocala followed by a Celebration of Life. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Marion County Junior Golf Inc., 3130 East Silver Springs Blvd., Ocala, FL 34470 or the Bo Williams Golf Endowment at the University of Florida. Make checks payable to UF Foundation, Inc., (reference fund number 007247 in the memo) and mail to P.O. Box 14425, Gainesville, FL 32604. Arrangements are under the direction of Hiers-Baxley Funeral Services, 910 S.E. Silver Springs Blvd, Ocala, Florida 34470.
Posted online on June 22, 2023
Published in Ocala Star Banner