Benjamin Robert Williamson, Jr.

September 18, 1956 - April 22, 2012
Benjamin Robert Williamson, Jr.

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Benjamin Robert Williamson Jr., a resident of Manhattan, died in an automobile accident at Figure Eight Island, NC. On April 22,2012

Born September 18, 1956, in Raleigh, NC, Robert is survived by his mother, Blanche Bacon, and father, Bob Williamson, both of Raleigh, and by his wife of 24 years, Caroline Crook Williamson and their three children: Caroline Costner, age 20; Benjamin Robert III, 18, and Wyndham Josephine, 13.
Robert had an abiding interest in people of all ages and stations, loved to probe questions both big and small, and was gifted with a sunny magnetism that attracted many friends. He had a soft spot for his family. To be a close friend meant steady bombardment with e-mails about his children, usually with a selection of the photographs and videos he was always taking on family trips, at sports events and at class plays.

From childhood, Robert had a keen interest in business and started many enterprises, most famously, in his preteen years, a rabbit farm. Robert graduated from the Ravenscroft School in Raleigh, where he was the 2008 distinguished alumni and a member of the sports hall of fame, and in 1979 from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Following graduation, he worked for Sonoco, a paper products company, in Hartsville, SC, before going to Wake Forest School of Business and receiving an MBA with honors in 1983. Later that year, he joined Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette in Manhattan as a stockbroker. In 1998 he joined Tiger Management, a New York City fund. In 2000 he co-founded his own hedge fund, Williamson McAree Investments, and, in January of 2011, joined Chilton Investment Co. where at his death he was a managing director.

As a New Yorker, Robert maintained his ties to the South, hosting a Christmas party with Caroline where Southern accents predominated, and attending the annual ball hosted by the North Carolina Society of New York, where he served a term as president. Robert played junior varsity basketball for Carolina, and he remained an avid Tar Heel fan. He gave time and money to many New York charities, including New Life of New York City, a faith-based youth outreach organization, where he was chairman of the board at his death, and Inwood House, where Caroline plays a leadership role. He was a longtime member of the Church of the Heavenly Rest, and at the time of his death was chairing the search for a new pastor.

In addition to the family members mentioned above, Robert is survived by his sister Blanche Spencer Williamson of Southampton NY; brother Julian Robertson Williamson of Raleigh, wife Elizabeth and their three daughters; stepfather Zack Bacon; stepbrothers, Zack Bacon, Louis Bacon, and Bart Bacon; stepmother, Eve Williamson; stepbrothers Bill Blades and Rob Blades and stepsister Helen Dixon; mother- and father-in-law Betty and C.B. Crook of Albemarle NC; brother-in-law Charles Crook of Marina del Rey, CA; uncle, Julian Robertson of New York City, aunt ,Wyndham Robertson of Chapel Hill, and many beloved first cousins with whom he was in regular contact.

A memorial service will be held on Wednesday, April 25th at 5:00 p.m. at Christ Episcopal Church in Raleigh, North Carolina. The funeral will be held on Monday, April 30th, at 4:00 p.m. at the Church of the Heavenly Rest at 90th Street and Fifth Avenue.

The family requests that in lieu of flowers, a contribution be made to New Life of New York City, 66 Clinton Street NYC, 10002, to the Church of the Heavenly Rest, 2 E. 90th Street, NYC, 10128, or to the charity of one’s choice.

Please share memories and condolences with the family by clicking on the “Sign Guest Book” tab above.

Wilmington Funeral & Cremation, 1535 S. 41st Street Wilmington, NC 28403. 910.791.9099.

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  • May 14, 2012
    Bill Johnson says:
    When I saw Bob's obit in the Charlotte paper, I couldn't help but smile, remembering him as the nicest guy I've ever met. He was in my 1st year study group at The Babcock School. Bob was truly unique--one of his favorite activities was to buy a bag of popcorn and stroll the KMart aisles looking at products and prices. I also took him down to Lexington for some of the best barbecue he ever had. What a great guy!

  • June 21, 2012
    Jimmy Royall says:
    By brother Tommy and I are sorry to hear of Robert's (R-Dub)passing. He will be missed by all of his Phi Gamm brothers. Our prayers go out to his entire family.

  • April 25, 2012
    Bill Lennan says:
    I moved my family to NYC in 2008 to join a hedge fund that abruptly disappeared in 2009. It was a difficult time, particularly as I learned that some people you’ve known for years are not as helpful as you’d imagined they might be when your luck turns bad. Enter a complete stranger named Robert Williamson. A mutual friend suggested I call him. He owned some stocks I knew well and he invited me in to Williamson McAree to present thoughts on those stocks to his team. Five minutes after the presentation was over, he offered an empty office to me as a place to come every day. I had access to research, company meetings, and, more importantly, a place to go every day and conduct a job search. It helped immeasurably to have a professional office and to feel part of a team. At WM I sat right outside Robert’s office and learned that he loved his family, North Carolina, stocks, and hedge fund gossip. The stint at WM helped me feel and look professional again and I soon landed a job. During a very tough time for me and my family a complete stranger named Robert Williamson was exceptionally kind and generous to me. That’s what I will remember about him.

  • April 25, 2012
    Doug Chesson says:
    I am so sorry to hear of Rdub's death. I am three years his junior. I got to know him in college as a fellow Phi Gam. I know your family is very pround of his accomplishments! Perge

  • April 25, 2012
    Jane Rabon says:
    Dear Blanche and family members, I was so saddened to learn of your son's tragic death and want you to know that I feel your loss so deeply. He certainly was an outstanding person. Please know you and Zack are especially in my thoughts and prayers. Jane