Back to May 2022

Walter Williams…Texas Pecan Grower

Dr. George Ray McEachern remembers Texas pecan grower Walter Williams in this Tribute.

A man, Walter Williams, stands next to tall and mature pecan tree during winter. The tree has multiple lines in different colors painted in rows up its thick trunk.

Walter “Bud” Waylon Williams in his pecan orchard in Concrete, Texas. (Photo by George Ray McEachern)

Walter Williams was a pioneer and national leader in the U.S. pecan industry; he passed away on March 24, 2022. Walter and Velmalene, his wife, owned and operated 325 acres of improved and native pecans on the lower Guadalupe River at their home in Concrete, Texas. Walter was an avid student of pecan growing and collected the largest private library of pecan literature in the country. As a Houston lawyer with influence, he was instrumental in directing and supporting pecan educational programs at Texas A&M University and other land grant colleges across the south.

Walter Williams and Warren Meadows of Louisiana State University initiated the first modern national pecan marketing projects in Washington, D.C., which helped support all university pecan educational programs. He served as President of the Texas Pecan Growers Association from 1976 to 1978 and the Federated Pecan Growers of America, which unified pecan growers and handlers throughout the U.S. pecan industry.

Texas has the finest county, regional, and state pecan show and grading demonstrations in the United States, and Walter Williams was one of the best pecan show judges in the state. He taught more than one or two pecan specialists and county Extension agents how to grade pecans in these pecan shows. During lunch after the show, Walter would pay the tab and stick a couple of cigars in your pocket, if you liked them or not. The pecan industry, especially Texas, appreciates his significant contributions and will miss their friend and leader, Mr. Walter Williams.

Read Mr. Williams’ full obituary here.

Author Photo

George Ray McEachern

George Ray McEachern is a professor of Horticulture, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas.