He already was “Terrific Terry” before that February night in 1964 when Terry Williams tied the world record in indoor track for the 60-yard dash.
The Omaha Central graduate was clocked in 6.0 seconds, beating Omaha University teammate Roger Sayers to the tape at a triangular in the school’s field house.
Williams, 68, died Monday in Fort Wayne, Ind., where he lived since 1968. His funeral is Saturday in Fort Wayne.
Williams was dubbed “Terrific Terry” by The World-Herald’s Don Lee after setting the city’s 100-yard dash record of 9.7 seconds during the 1962 Dutch White Relays at now-closed Omaha Tech.
The next month, Williams was on a 220-yard straightaway — not an oval — at a district meet on Boys Town’s cinder track when he became the only Nebraska schoolboy to break 21 seconds (he ran 20.9) in the 220.
The 5-foot-11, 170-pounder swept the 100 and 220 gold medals at the state meet, running 9.7 and 22.0, respectively, and was the anchor man on the gold-medal mile relay for the Eagles.
Williams worked at GTE/Verizon in Fort Wayne for 39 years until retiring in 2011. For more than 30 years, he volunteered to coach the Fort Wayne Summit City Striders youth track club.
In a 2009 World-Herald article, Williams said it was important to give back to his community.
“If you ever wonder why you were put on this Earth, I found out it was to help other people,” he said. “You cannot find anything more rewarding than that. We all need money to pay our bills, but money can’t always make you happy. Helping other people will.”
Survivors include his wife of 48 years, the former Bettie L. Babb; son Chad of Fort Wayne; daughters Gina R. Williams-Felton of Edina, Minn., and Kimberly Williams and Shoclynn Williams, both of Fort Wayne; mother, Goldie T. White of Fort Wayne; stepmother, Johnnie Williams of Omaha; and brothers Marlon Williams of Denver, Paul Williams of Phoenix and Tracy White of Fort Wayne.