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Charles E. Williams Jr., one of the first African-American bricklayers at Bethlehem Steel Corp., died Wednesday (June 13, 2001) in Millard Fillmore Hospital after a lengthy illness. He was 73.

A lifelong Buffalo resident, he began working for Bethlehem Steel as a bricklayer in 1943.

He served in the Army from 1945 to 1948.

He returned to Bethlehem Steel in 1948 and retired in 1989.

He was past master of the Master Craftman Lodge 110, F&AM, Prince Hall Affiliated; Bison Consistory 29; and Hadji Temple 61, Ancient Egyptian Arabic Order, Nobles of the Mystic Shrine.

He also enjoyed playing golf.

His wife, the former Fairye L. Johnson, died in 1980.

Survivors include one daughter, Phyllis Hawkins of Framingham, Mass.; two brothers, Bunyon and Stanley, both of Buffalo; one sister, Marion Bailey of Brooklyn; his companion, Mable Gaskin of Buffalo; three grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.

Services were held Saturday in Calvary CME Church, 1007 Ellicott St. Burial was in Forest Lawn.

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