Viera de G. Williamson, a volunteer and longtime active member of Towson Unitarian Universalist Church, died Oct. 10, 2012 from complications of dementia at Emeritus Towson Assisted Living. She was 86.
The daughter of Russian Count Alef de Ghize and Eleanor May Jencks de Ghize, a Baltimore artist, Viera de Ghize was born in Mount Kisco, N.Y., and moved with her parents in the late 1920s to a Cockeysville farm.
After graduating from the George School in Newtown, Pa., she was studying journalism at Antioch College in 1945 when she married Richard Williamson, who was an Army Air Forces officer.
Stationed in Germany after the end of World War II, the couple moved to High Point, N.C., to be near her parents and returned to Cockeysville in 1958. They later divorced.
In the late 1960s, Mrs. Williamson joined with her friend Peggy Herriot to establish the East Towson Head Start program.
A longtime member of Towson Unitarian Universalist Church, Mrs. Williamson served on its Social Action Committee. She also volunteered with the Children's Guild for more than 20 years. "She also volunteered for numerous organizations promoting education for underserved children and social justice and civil rights for victims of the prison system," said a son, Kent Williamson of Pecos, N.M.
A Towson resident, Mrs. Williamson had been living since this year at the North Charles Street assisted-living community. A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Dec. 2 at her church, 1710 Dulaney Valley Road.
In addition to her son, Mrs. Williamson is survived by two other sons, Chris Williamson of Baltimore and Frank Williamson of Seattle; a daughter, Eleanor Elbers of East Alstead, N.H.; six grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; and her partner, Charles Cephas of West Baltimore.