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Bellflower : School Named for Soldier

July 23, 1987

The Bellflower Unified School District's newest campus will be named the Craig Williams Elementary School after a student who was killed 18 years ago in Vietnam. "We've got schools named after city fathers and presidents, but none honoring those who fought in Vietnam," said board Vice President Jay Gendrau, who proposed the name.

The school board voted unanimously to name the elementary school, which will open this fall, after Craig Emery Williams, who was killed in 1969 when he was 21. Williams graduated from Mayfair High School in Lakewood in 1965 and attended Thomas Jefferson Elementary School and Roosevelt Junior High School. He continued his education at Cerritos College and California State University, Fullerton.

Williams worked for the Lakewood Parks and Recreation Department and was a park director for Downey Parks and Recreation at the Dennis the Menace Playground, where a memorial plaque was placed in his honor shortly after his death.

A dedication ceremony is tentatively scheduled for Sept. 28. Williams' father and sister, who live in Idaho, are expected to attend, Gendrau said. "We are dedicating this school to Craig in hopes that he will be the last person to sacrifice his life in a war like that again," he said.

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