CenturyTel Founder Dies Following Lengthy Illness.Business Editors
MONROE, La.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--June 5, 2002
CenturyTel (NYSE NYSE
See: New York Stock Exchange :CTL See control key.
1. CTL - Checkout Test language.
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3. CTL - Computational Tree Logic ) founder and Chairman of the Board Clarke M. Williams died today following a lengthy illness. He was 80.
In accordance with the Company's by-laws, Glen F. Post, III, CenturyTel's Vice Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer since 1992, will assume Mr. Williams' responsibilities.
"Mr. Williams spent his lifetime building a company that reflects his personal values," Post said. "His legacy is embodied in CenturyTel's unifying principles of fairness, honesty and integrity, commitment to excellence, positive attitude, respect, faith and perseverance. These principles epitomized the way he lived his life and he expected every CenturyTel employee to embrace them, too. CenturyTel is a thriving leader in the communications industry communications industry, broadly defined, the business of conveying information. Although communication by means of symbols and gestures dates to the beginning of human history, the term generally refers to mass communications. as a direct result. We work hard to make life better for the people in the communities we serve, and that's a wonderful legacy for him. The entire CenturyTel family extends its deepest sympathies to the Williams family."
Mr. Williams' parents gave him the Oak Ridge Telephone Company as a wedding gift when he came home from World War II in 1946. Mr. Williams grew the 75 customer company into the 8th largest independent telephone company in the U.S., and the only company headquartered in Northeast Louisiana ever included in the Standard & Poor's 500. Traded on the New York Stock Exchange New York Stock Exchange (NYSE)
World's largest marketplace for securities. The exchange began as an informal meeting of 24 men in 1792 on what is now Wall Street in New York City. since 1978, CenturyTel now serves more than three million customers in 21 states.
Mr. Williams grew up in the telephone business, working the switchboard at the age of eight in the living room of his parent's Oak Ridge home, and delivering his mother's handwritten hand·write
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Adj. 1. bills on his bike to the company's customers during the 1930s. Mr. Williams had to borrow $150 to pay the freight charges on the Company's first dial system in the late 1940s. He bought the Marion, Louisiana telephone exchange in 1950 and began to build what is known as CenturyTel today. In October 2001, CenturyTel agreed to pay Verizon $2.159 billion in cash for about 675,000 access lines in Missouri and Alabama.
Mr. Williams chaired the board of directors of the Bank of Oak Ridge, served on the community board of Regions Bank and was a deacon of the Oak Ridge Baptist Church. He served as mayor of Oak Ridge from 1959 to 1975, and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Law Degree by Northeast Louisiana University (now University of Louisiana At present, no single institution exists with the specific, official name of the University of Louisiana. Historical and modern references
highest American military decoration for wartime gallantry. [Am. Hist.: Misc.]
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Mr. Williams was also a veteran of World War II, serving in the U.S. Army Air Corps, attaining the rank of Staff Sergeant. He served with an Air Corps unit as an aerial engineer at various bases across the U.S.
Mr. Williams is survived by his wife, Mary Kathryn, and daughters and sons-in-law Annette and Don Carroll of Oak Grove and Carolyn and Harvey Perry of Monroe. He is also survived by six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. His son, Clarke McRae Williams, Jr., former president and CEO (1) (Chief Executive Officer) The highest individual in command of an organization. Typically the president of the company, the CEO reports to the Chairman of the Board. of CenturyTel, preceded him in death.
Funeral services will be announced at a later time.
CenturyTel, Inc. provides communications services including local exchange, wireless, long distance, Internet access and data services to more than three million customers in 21 states. The company is headquartered in Monroe and publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol CTL. CenturyTel is the 8th largest local exchange telephone company, based on access lines, in the United States.
CenturyTel employs about 1,500 people in Northeast Louisiana and about 7,000 nationwide.