Edwin Coe Williams, 88, a retired mechanical engineer and community activist, died of complications from emphysema Monday, May 24, at Dunwoody Village, a retirement community in Newtown Square.

Mr. Williams graduated from West Philadelphia High School and earned a bachelor's degree in engineering from Pennsylvania State University.

During World War II, he was an officer in an Army engineering battalion on Guam, where he supervised soldiers blasting through coral and jungle to create airfields for B29s.

After his discharge, Mr. Williams joined Atlantic Refining Co., now Arco Chemical Co. In the 1970s, he oversaw the construction of an Arco petrochemical plant in Texas. Shortly before he retired in 1985, he was project manager for the construction of an Arco research and development facility in Newtown Square.

He was a lifetime member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and chaired its Philadelphia division.

Mr. Williams served on the Newtown Township Board of Supervisors for nine years and chaired the construction committee for a new township Library, which opened in 2003.

He was a founding member of Newtown Square Presbyterian Church, where he served on the building committee and was an usher and a deacon.

Since 1949, Mr. Williams had been married to Jane Owens Williams. They met at St. Paul's Presbyterian Church in West Philadelphia.

While their three sons were growing up, he was a leader of a Cub Scout pack and a Boy Scout troop in Newtown Square.

Mr. Williams enjoyed making repairs and renovations on the home in Newtown Square he and his wife lived in for 47 years, and manicured the lawn with a push mower.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by his sons, Edwin Jr., Bruce, and Paul; a sister; and seven grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, June 5, at Newtown Square Presbyterian Church, 3600 Goshen Rd., Newtown Square, Pa. 19073. Memorial donations may be made to the church.

Contact staff writer Sally A. Downey at 215-854-2913 or sdowney@phillynews.com.