Brendan R. Williams Jr.

Resided in Escanaba, MI
Died November 1, 2020

Brendan R. Williams Jr., age 67, passed away on Sunday, November 1, 2020.

Brendan was born January 7, 1953, in Escanaba, the son of Brendan Sr. and Margaret (Fragile) Williams. He was raised in Escanaba and was a graduate of Escanaba High School. He later went on to earn his Bachelor’s Degree and Master’s Degree from Northern Michigan University.

He was a well-known and accomplished musician in the area, playing in a number of bands including “The Riot Squad” (1965-1968), “Insanity’s Horse” (1968-1969), “Porridge” (1968-1971), “Strawberry Hill,” “Rocking Chair” (1973-1985), and “The Reunion Band” (1985-1992). He later continued his musicianship and performances with family members.

Brendan spent many years as an employee of the Nah Tah Wahsh Public School Academy in the Hannahville Indian Community, directing the Special Education program.

He enjoyed the outdoors and trapping/fur harvesting. He also invested in sports as both a coach and loving parent/grandparent.

Brendan is survived by his sons Cory Williams and Brendan Williams III, brother Michael Williams, and grandchildren Chasey Williams, Taylor Williams, Kinsley Williams, Brendan Williams IV, Maize Williams, and Averi Williams.

Brendan was preceded in death by his parents, his son Justin Williams, and his sisters Harriet Spieth and Mary Williams.

Private services will be held at the convenience of the family.

15 Tributes for “Brendan R. Williams Jr.

    So sorry for your loss. He was also a teacher at Mid Peninsula School from time to time! He was a very nice teacher and was fun to be around. God bless him & his family!

    So sorry for your loss. I have many fond memories of Uncle Brendan from family trips to Escanaba as I was growing up. Keeping you close in thoughts and prayers.

    Praying for my cousins and their family at this time of sorrow. Many good memories of my Uncle Brendan from my younger years. God bless and guide you.

    Matt and Erin Spieth
    Georgetown SC

    I just learned of Brendan’s passing tonight and was very saddened by the news. I was very honored to have played with him from 1985 -1991. We had a good time and I learned alot about singing a third part harmony from him. My thoughts and prayers with the Williams family. A good friend and a great musician.


    Sad to hear about Brendan. In school he always had my son Owen’s best interest at heart. May he rest in peace.


    Dear Cory, Brendan and family,

    Brendan and I were friends for many years. I first employed him as part of the Reunion Band at Muggszy’s Lounge in Marquette. They were such a fun group and packed the house many nights. I later wrote a letter of recommendation to hire Brendan at Nah Nah Wahsh PSA. Brendan taught as a special education teacher and I was the Social Studies guy for many years.

    I was surprised to hear of his passing. I have since been retired from Hannahville for the last 8 years. I last saw him 2 years ago and he had told me that he had health issues. He was always proud and concerned about his boys. It was very hard on him when Justin passed away. I pray that he is now at peace and in the loving embrace of our Lord.

    Be well.
    Mark McNabb

    Just heard of the loss of a great friend and great musician. You will be missed Brendon. Gods speed.

    Brendan and I were “next door neighbors” for six years at Nah Tah Wahsh. He was ALWAYS there to lend me a hand if I needed it in the science lab. He was also always there for me as a colleague. He had much wisdom and I only wish I had known him in his band days. My condolences to his family.

    Sad to hear about Brendan. He was a great guy and a good friend of mine over many years? I will miss him a lot. He is in heaven playing with the angels

    Brendan and I were best friends in our younger years. We had a blast growing up in the old neighborhood. we always had something going on building shacks,go carts,treeforts going fishing, had a trapline setup along the marsh,and always were playing baseball,football,and basketball. We started going our own ways after grade school. I remember him getting his first guitar. I was also playing guitar with a few guys next door in Rivards basement. He would come over and watch our chord playing,then go home and learn it on his guitar. back and forth he would come and go. he turned out to be a very good player. To Mike, thanks for that ride on your white Harley. Very sorry for your loss. God will watch over Brendan now so know in your hearts he is going to be ok

    So sad and sorry of Brendan,s passing. He, my brother Bob and I were the three Amigos of the old neighborhood. I guess you could say we were a smaller version of the “SANDLOT” gang growing up. Rest in peace my friend and I hope you have heaven rocken with your musical talent.

    I’m so sorry to hear of Brendan’s passing. My prayers go out for the comfort of his family during this time. My memory of Brendan practicing with the Riot Squad in Gene Smiltneck’s basement is one that comes to me often. I’m sure he’s rocking in a much better place now.

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